Planned junior doctors' strikes throughout the rest of the year are a "devastating blow", a national patients' group has warned.
The Patients Association condemned the strike action as it said that the repeated stoppages would lead to cancelled operations and longer waits for treatment.
This is a devastating blow to patients, and a destructive next step as far as any kind of negotiations go.
Chief executive Katherine Murphy called on both junior doctors and the government to return to talks in a fight over pay and conditions.
"At least one person a day calls our helpline specifically to ask for support following a cancelled or delayed hospital appointment or surgery," she said.
"This is only going to increase if the Government and BMA don't take this opportunity to resume meaningful and sincere negotiations to prevent further industrial action."
The medical regulator has urged junior doctors to seriously consider whether or not to take part in a new wave of strikes.
A five-day strike by junior doctors has been called in the ongoing dispute over contracts, but what does it mean for patients?