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Home » Several NHS Trusts Declare Critical Incidents On First Day Of Junior Doctors’ Strike

Several NHS Trusts Declare Critical Incidents On First Day Of Junior Doctors’ Strike

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Several NHS trusts across England have declared critical incidents on the first day of the junior doctors’ strike, while some are calling for staff to return to work amid patient safety concerns.

The six-day walkout – the longest in NHS history – began on Wednesday as junior doctors who are members of the British Medical Association take industrial action in a row over pay.

Under the NHS system, a junior doctor is any medical school graduate with between one and nine years’ experience.

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The longest strike in NHS history The following trusts in England have declared critical incidents:

• Lewisham and Greenwich

• Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

• Portsmouth Hospitals University

A spokesperson for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said this strike is “proving very challenging” as it “coincides with what is typically our busiest week”.

It has submitted a “safety mitigation request” calling for additional doctors to work as its two hospitals face “very high levels of patient demand.”

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The medical director at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire has urged the public to only attend A&E if they are suffering “a life-threatening illness or injury that cannot be treated elsewhere” amid long waiting times.

Dr Dave Briggs said people should “think about self-care as an option for some conditions, such as coughs and colds”.

If self-care “isn’t an option” then people should call 111, he added.

The Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust has cited “a combination of delays across our system and an increase in demand for services” as its reason for declaring a critical incident.

Image: The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth It added: “We are already experiencing a difficult week, following the bank holiday weekends, and as we cope with increasing winter pressures and low staffing numbers, particularly in our emergency department.

“We need help from our community to make sure that our hospital can continue to care for those who need our services.”

After a high number of calls in recent days, the Welsh Ambulance Service has also reminded people to only call 999 if they are seriously ill, injured or a life is in danger.

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Patient backs NHS despite cancellations A number of hospitals have submitted derogation requests, calling on doctors to return to work.

Just over 20 requests have been made but some hospitals may have submitted more than one. All but one has been rejected, while the final one is being considered by the union.

Junior doctors were given an 8.8% pay rise last summer with an extra 3% offered towards the end of the year, which was rejected by the BMA.

The union claimed the offer did not make up for the real-term pay cut of 26.1% that junior doctors have been subjected to since 2008.

They are calling for a full pay “restoration” to reverse the cut and other changes including the introduction of a mechanism to prevent future pay decreases against the cost of living.