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Without junior doctors 'the NHS would collapse'

A senior consultant has suggested hospital departments may struggle to cope without junior doctors stating that without them "the NHS would collapse".

Speaking today as it was announced his colleagues had voted in favour of strike action Mr Hani Shuheibar, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Lancashire teaching hospitals, described junior doctors as the "backbone of the NHS" and crucial to workflow within departments.

Without the junior doctors this department would collapse, the NHS would collapse.

There's no question about it they are the backbone of the NHS.

– Hani Shuheibar

Hunt: Vote for strike action 'very disappointing'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the vote for strike actionas "very, very disappointing news".

Mr Hunt said contingency plans would be put in place "to make sure patients are safe".

We want to be able to promise NHS patients they will get the same high quality care every day of the week. Study after study has shown our mortality rates at weekends are too high.

We put forward a very fair offer for junior doctors which will see pay go up for three quarters of junior doctors. We wanted to talk about this to them but in the end they've chosen to strike so we will now have to put in place contingency plans to make sure patients are safe over a very busy period for the NHS.

– Jeremy Hunt

A junior doctor has told ITV News he doesn't want to strike but will because he feels the future of the NHS depends on it.


Patients Association: Junior doctors' strike could risk safety

The Patients Association has warned that safety "will be put at risk" by the junior doctors' strike.

The Patients Association are extremely worried by the confirmation that industrial action by junior doctors will go ahead.

Patient safety will undoubtedly be put at risk by this decision. Whilst the views of doctors must be heard, the potential consequences of this strike for patients are severe.

– Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association

The association is calling on the government to hold talks with the BMA to tr and resolve the dispute.

Shadow Health Secretary: It's imperative to find a way to avoid junior doctor strike

Heidi Alexander Credit: PA

The Shadow Health Secretary has said it is "imperative" to find a way to avoid a strike by junior doctors.

Heidi Alexander said there has been "a fundamental breakdown in trust" which is "bad for the NHS and bad for patients".

Jeremy Hunt needs to take responsibility for the fact that this is the first time in 40 years that junior doctors have voted to take such significant industrial action.

There is clearly huge anger about the way in which these negotiations have been handled by the Government.

It is imperative that in the next 10 days Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron find a way to avoid a strike.

There has been a fundamental breakdown in trust between the Health Secretary and junior doctors, which is bad for the NHS and bad for patients.

I have written to the Prime Minister suggesting that an independent mediator is brought in to break the current stand-off. If he dismisses this suggestion, he will be risking patient safety in both the short and long term.

– Heidi Alexander
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