The boss of two east London hospitals is demanding "meaningful negotiations and a settlement" to stop strike action he claims is costing them millions of pounds and damaging staff morale.

Matthew Trainer, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), spoke out ahead of industrial action by junior and senior doctors at the trust starting tomorrow (September 19) and running until Saturday (September 23).

Mr Trainer said the trust's doctors feel that their “skills, hard work and dedication aren’t valued”.

He continued: “I am particularly worried about our junior doctors. They are our future consultants, medical directors and CEOs. They believe they are not being treated with respect.” 

Romford Recorder: BHRUT chief exec Matthew TrainerBHRUT chief exec Matthew Trainer (Image: BHRUT)

"Meaningful negotiations and a settlement” are needed as repeated strike action “isn’t tenable”, especially during winter, he said.

“We can’t run our hospitals like this”, Mr Trainer added.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said in response that he is “very grateful to the public” for using NHS services wisely on strike days.

He said the strike days are “incredibly difficult for patients and their families” and pose “an enormous challenge for colleagues across the NHS".

A BHRUT spokesperson said the latest action will have a “significant impact” on services at Queen's Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes.

It is reportedly the first time in the history of NHS that junior and senior doctors are going on a coordinated strike over better pay and working conditions.

The spokesperson said that senior doctors walking out on September 19 and 20 will provide a “Christmas Day level of cover” during these days, meaning that emergency services will still be attended to.

On September 20, both groups of doctors will be on strike with junior doctors also covering any emergencies that day.

Junior doctors will hold a full walkout from September 21 until 7am on September 23.

The BHRUT spokesperson claimed that that while the trust is “working hard” to ensure that emergency care is available across all four days, they have had to rearrange 2,047 outpatient appointments and 201 non-urgent surgeries.

Cancer patients and others who need urgent care or have been experiencing longer waits are being prioritised by the trust, they said.

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The spokesperson added: “If your appointment or surgery is rescheduled, we will contact you directly. If you do not hear from us, please come in as planned.

“While our A&Es will remain open during the strike it’s likely they will be under considerable strain which means if you do not need emergency care you will face very long waits.”

Previous strike action by junior and senior doctors to the end of August has cost the trust more than £5.9m, BHRUT said.