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Junior doctors 'should consider their responsibilities', says England's chief medical officer

Junior doctors protest during the last walkout. Credit: PA Wire

Junior doctors should consider their "professional responsibilities" before their next strike, England's chief medical officer has said.

The first full walkout in the history of the NHS by junior doctors is planned for the end of the month, when they will withdraw all labour and provide no emergency cover.

It is the latest strike in the long-running - and increasingly bitter - dispute with the government over a new contract.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said the move was a "drastic step" that would "inevitably lead to patients suffering".

Professor Dame Sally Davies. Credit: PA Wire

Dame Sally did admit, however, that she understood the "anger and frustration" felt by many in the profession.

As a doctor, I can understand the anger and frustration felt by many junior doctors at this time. Junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS, working long and anti-social hours for their patients.

But the withdrawal of emergency cover will inevitably lead to patients suffering, and sadly has the potential to bring far more serious consequences.

I recognise that training now is very different from when I went through it, but I urge every junior doctor to consider their patients and their professional responsibilities before taking such a drastic step.

– Dame Sally Davies

Junior doctors will stage their next strike - the full walkout - on April 26 and 27.