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Lancashire
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Biggest NHS strike in history takes place in Preston today

Preston Royal Hospital is preparing for the biggest NHS strike in history today – as both its junior doctors and consultants take part.

NHS authorities are warning of unprecedented disruptions to patient care. While emergency care will continue, planned medical services are expected to halt, causing thousands of appointments to be cancelled.

Consultants are striking over pay disputes, with a strike yesterday, today and from October 2-4.

Simultaneously, junior doctors – who have already walked out for 19 days since March – will strike this week and again in October.

This means both groups will be absent from their duties today.

Patient risk

The Royal Preston Hospital saw 51 consultants strike yesterday (September 19) and they will be joined by junior doctors today, marking the first joint strike and severely impacting healthcare services.

Hospital staff have prepared for this strike over the past three weeks, prioritising the care of critically ill patients.

Routine operations have been cancelled this week, and staffing levels are strained. The core issue is consultants’ claims of declining take-home pay over the past 14 years, despite a 6% pay increase this year.

Challenging period

This strike coincides with the NHS’s most challenging period of the year, with mounting pressures and record-high waiting lists of 7.7 million individuals awaiting treatment. Unless a resolution is reached, the situation is expected to worsen.

The next joint strike is planned to coincide with the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester next month.

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