Doctors strike over pensions

Doctors are taking industrial action over controversial pension reforms. It's the first time they have gone on strike in almost 40 years. The Government has said one in 10 patients has had an operation, outpatient appointment or treatment rescheduled

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More than 20,000 appointments cancelled due to strike

The Department of Health said that their figures estimate that around 11,500 doctors, just over 8% of those working in the NHS in England, are taking part in industrial action today.

Though less than 10% of doctors are on strike, more than 20,000 patients have had their appointments or operations cancelled.

  • Around 2,700 operations were cancelled and rescheduled
  • Around 18,750 outpatients appointments cancelled and rescheduled
  • Approximately 6,000 GP surgeries have been providing routine appointments
  • Approximately 2,000 GP surgeries have been providing urgent appointments only

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What impact will such a low key 'strike' actually have?

by - Consumer Editor

I'm in Peterborough to see the frontline impact of today's doctors "strike".

Of course, it was never intended to be anything other than the most polite and collaborative of industrial action.

No pickets, no placards and very few outward signs that anything is untoward. Here the figures reflect what the Department of Health say is the national norm, around 10% of routine appointments have been rescheduled.

All this leaves one burning question. Will today's lack of impact on most patients strengthen the BMA's hand by endearing them to the public, or weaken their hand by displaying a lack of results?

Lansley 'pleased' majority of doctors have maintained services

In the run up to these strikes our objectivehas been to minimise disruption for patients. We asked doctors to recognisethat their quarrel was not with patients but with the Government. I am pleasedthat a significant majority of doctors have done just that and maintainedservices for their patients.

But let us not forget that the consequence ofthe BMA’s decision to ask doctors to go on strike has been that thousands ofpatients who expected to have an operation or an appointment today have beeninconvenienced or distressed by delay to their care.

– Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary

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A look at how the doctors' strike is affecting the country

  • NHS Hospitals in Nottingham saw seven of 140 operations cancelled.
  • In Dudley, all 53 GP practices remained open. Five practices confirmed they would be taking part in the action.
  • At the Medway NHS Foundation Trust, no operations were cancelled.
  • In Kent and Medway, there is at least one GP taking part in the action at 77 of the 273 practices in the area.
  • There were 331 outpatients cancelled in hospitals in Barking, Havering and Redbridge. While 843 outpatient appointments are going ahead as planned.
  • Of 44 outpatient clinics due to be held at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, only nine clinics have been affected.
  • Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital have rescheduled 13 non emergency appointments. This equates to about one eighth of the total number of non-emergency operations.

Has your region been affected by the doctors' strike?

  • Of the 500 GPs in NHS Bedfordshire and Luton, 94 took part in the action, affecting 25% of practices in the county.
  • In Herefordshire, four out of 25 practices had GPs taking part in the action.
  • At Wye Valley NHS Trust, eight of 37 operations were rescheduled and 52 of 597 outpatient appointments were called off.
  • Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said 14 operations and 146 outpatient appointments were cancelled due to the action. The Trust usually performs 306 operations a day and sees around 461 outpatients.

BMA hits out at 'misleading' Government comments

The Government has been making "misleading" comments about controversial pension reforms, the British Medical Association (BMA) said.

As doctors up and down the country take part in industrial action the union spoke out to dispel "partial representations of the facts".

Andrew Lansley's claims that taxpayers subsidise £4 out of every £5 of doctors' pensions is false, the union said.

The NHS pension scheme does not work by building up a pension pot - staff working now pay for the pensions of NHS staff who are retired.

The scheme currently brings in £2 billion more than it pays out - this money goes back to the Treasury.

– Spokesman
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