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Plan for monthly junior doctors' strikes draws criticism

Junior doctors in England are to hold monthly strike action for the remainder of 2016, the British Medical Association has announced.

Here are the key developments:

  • The action will take place from 8am to 5pm between September 12 and 16, October 5 and 11, November 14 and 18, and December 5 and 9
  • The strikes are an 'unforgivable' betrayal of those needing care, the head of the Patients Association has said
  • Senior doctors have urged their junior colleagues to call off the strikes
  • Prime Minister Theresa May accused the BMA of 'playing politics', while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said doctors were being 'very confrontational'
  • The BMA said it will call off industrial action if the Government agrees not to impose the new contracts
  • Six strikes have already taken place across England during the dispute
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Doctor strike 'may cause half million cancelled operations'

Chris Hopson said trusts were scrambling to prepare for the first strikes in September Credit: PA

A series of five-day long strikes by junior doctors could force the NHS to cancel up to half a million operations and four million appointments, a health boss has suggested.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents frontline NHS leaders, said the actions would cause "unprecedented" disruption to patients.

"We're talking about four sets of five days of strikes," he told BBC Breakfast.

"That's equivalent to half a million - 500,000 - cancelled operations and four million lost outpatient appointments, so what we're talking about is a completely unprecedented scale of disruption and negative impact on patients; it's extremely worrying."

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