Junior doctor strike led to 175,000 postponed appointments and procedures in England

ITV News' Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports on the strike action disrupting services

More than 175,000 patient appointments and procedures were postponed or cancelled in England when junior doctors went on strike this week, new data shows.

Tens of thousands of medics rallied at picket lines across England from Monday to Wednesday earlier this week.

It marked the nation's longest ever period of strikes by junior doctors.

Alongside the 175,000 appointments and procedures put off because of this week's strikes, more than 100,000 had already been postponed this winter after nurses took strike action, according to NHS figures.

On Monday, patient John Carroll spoke of his frustration at the doctors' strikes.

Blood flow to his feet is so bad he might lose a toe, and he'd hoped an operation scheduled two years ago would improve his condition. However, the procedure was cancelled because of the strikes.

"I know if I lose my toes, my balance is going to be gone. I just feel so let down, because you can’t turn to anybody,” he told ITV News.

The British Medical Association (BMA) is demanding a substantial pay rise for doctors, with its latest campaign saying junior medics could earn more per hour if they worked serving coffee at Pret A Manger.

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One striking doctor told ITV News: “I’ve had times where I go home and I’m crying. I wake up because I’m worried about a patient and my pay is £14 an hour. That’s not fair.”

The £14.09 wage is the lowest possible basic hourly pay for the lowest rank of junior doctors - but only if you also do not count roughly seven weeks of paid holiday. As fact-checking organisation FullFact have reported, the average hourly wage for a junior doctor depends on a variety of factors, and typically ranges from £20 to £30.