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Junior doctor strike: hospitals in Redbridge and Havering rearrange 1,602 appointments

PUBLISHED: 09:49 13 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:03 13 January 2016

Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Archant

14 non-urgent operations were postponed and 1,602 outpatient appointments rearranged as a result of the junior doctor strike yesterday.

The strike, which saw junior doctors hold a picket line by the roundabout outside Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, was the first day of planned industrial action.

If no agreement is reached after this, a 48-hour walk out is planned from 8am to 5pm on January 26-28, followed by a third day of action in February.

In December, plans by the British Medical Association to strike were cancelled, in order to re-enter talks with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS employers, over proposed contract changes.

But those negotiations have failed to reach an agreement.

In the vote in December, 98 per cent voted in favour of full strike action and 99pc in favour of action just short of a full strike.

More than 37,700 members of the British Medical Association were sent ballot papers and 76pc took part.

At the protest yesterday, Simon Fleming, 32, an orthopaedic registrar at BHRUT, said the action was necessary to ensure public safety.

He said: “Today’s strike is sad but necessary to protect the NHS, it’s patients and its doctors.

“Removal of vital safeguards, the extension of standard hours and the changes to pay will all chip away at the amazing service junior doctors currently want to continue to provide.

“We all hope negotiations are eventually successful, but we do this for our patients and for a safer NHS.”

Chief Executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust Matthew Hopkins said: “Our overriding priority is to ensure we continue to provide high standards of patient care and safety at all times.

“Our consultant and ward managers have been working closely with our operational teams so we have robust contingency plans in place and our patients receive safe and compassionate care.

“Junior doctors are a very important part of our multi-disciplinary teams and we value the enormous contribution they make to patient care.

“I would like to thank our staff for their tireless efforts, and our patients and visitors for their understanding and support.”

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