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  1. ITV Report

All-out junior doctors' strike: Advice for patients

Thousands of junior doctors in England are set to take industrial action in an ongoing dispute over the new junior doctors' contract which the Government has signalled it intends to impose.

Junior doctors are set for another two day walk out starting tomorrow Credit: Ben Birchall / PA

The doctors are to withdraw full labour over the two-day strike.

Here is what you need to know:

What does 'full withdrawal of labour' mean?

  • Junior doctors in England are withdrawing emergency care - the first time such a step has been taken during a strike
  • This means junior doctors will be walking out of A+E units, urgent maternity services, resuscitation and mental health crisis teams
  • The walkout is planned from 8am to 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday

What effect has this latest action had on NHS services?

  • According to figures from NHS England, 112,856 outpatient appointments have been cancelled
  • 12,711 planned operations have been cancelled and will need to be rearranged
  • Across the country, consultants who would normally be staffing clinics and planned operations will be moving to other areas of hospitals to provide cover
  • The BMA says emergency care will be provided by senior doctors

NHS advice to patients during the period of industrial action:

  • Those with long-term health conditions should be prepared - there are a range of other primary care services that can offer help, such as your pharmacist, dentist or optician
  • If you have a planned operation, procedure or outpatient appointment on a day when industrial action is taking place, your hospital will contact you if the appointment needs to be rearranged
  • If you are unsure, contact your hospital
  • Patients already in hospital will continue to receive normal care
  • Your GP may be busier than usual over the period of industrial action
  • Accident and Emergency departments will be open to deal with serious and life-threatening conditions - only those with genuine emergency needs should visit A+E

Why are junior doctors striking again?

  • The main point of disagreement with the contract has been over weekend pay and whether Saturdays should attract extra "unsocial" payments
  • The BMA has rejected the offer and urged Jeremy Hunt to reduce the offer of a basic pay rise and instead have better premium rates on Saturdays
  • The BMA says the government's intention to impose the contract has left junior doctors with no choice but to take industrial action

What is the Government's response to the latest strike?

  • Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has called the strike "risks the safety of many patients", and said the action was "extreme" and has urged the BMA to call off the industrial action