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DoH: 'disappointing' strike 'inconvenienced' patients

It is "very disappointing" that the junior doctors strike has "inconvenienced" tens of thousands of patients, the Department of Health has said in a statement.

It is very disappointing that tens of thousands of patients and NHS staff have been inconvenienced by the BMA.

We have now agreed the vast majority of the contract detail with the BMA but it is a great shame they have broke the agreement we made at Acas on the outstanding issue of Saturday working and pay for unsocial hours."

– Department of Health statement

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Hospital chief: Strikes could affect waiting times

Ipswich Hospital Chief Executive Nick Hulme Credit: GMB

If there are more strikes by junior doctors it could affect waiting times for everybody, a hospital chief has warned.

Ipswich Hospital Chief Executive Nick Hulme said "care will always be safe" but "the overall effect of patients having to wait longer for operations or outpatients will have an effect on patient care".

Every time we have a strike it's more difficult, because those patients that we have to cancel we have to see at some point and clearly that cumulative effect of patients being cancelled will ultimately have an effect on waiting times for everybody.

– Nick Hulme

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Shadow health secretary: Strike is 'deeply disappointing'

Heidi Alexander Credit: PA

The shadow health secretary has urged Jeremy Hunt to negotiate with junior doctors and find a resolution to the dispute.

Heidi Alexander said the industrial action is "deeply disappointing" and the "sad truth is that it didn't have to come to this".

Today's industrial action is deeply disappointing, particularly for the patients who have had hospital treatment delayed because of it.

The sad truth is that it didn't have to come to this. Jeremy Hunt's handling of these negotiations has been a complete and utter shambles.

His comments over the past few weeks and months have caused widespread anger among junior doctors and left staff morale at rock bottom. We urgently need to see a resolution to this dispute, which doesn't involve imposing a new contract.

Jeremy Hunt needs to stop hiding behind his desk in the Department of Health and get back round the negotiating table.

– Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander
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