NHS strikes: Over half a million appointments and operations postponed due to strikes in NHS England

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More healthcare workers are walking out over their long-standing dispute over pay.

The wave of strikes that has hit the NHS in England in the lead up to the organisation’s 75th anniversary has resulted in the postponement of almost 650,000 appointments and operations, it has been reported.

Since December 2022, unprecedented strikes have been wreaking havoc over the entirety of the NHS, leading to widespread disruption. The first ever mass walkout was first held in December by the nurses. In the weeks that followed, workers in ambulances, physiotherapists, and other areas of the healthcare industry followed suit.

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Junior doctors launched the first strike in a series of walkouts in March of this year, adding to the chaos that had already been disrupting the health sector. According to reports, over 648,000 appointments, procedures, and operations have been postponed as a direct result of the strikes in England.

Further cancellations are also inevitable as the NHS braces itself for the largest doctors’ strike in its history, just a week after its 75th anniversary on Wednesday (July 5). Later this month, junior doctors are planning to stage the largest walkout in the history of the NHS - a five-day strike from July 13 to 18.

Meanwhile, consultants - the most senior doctors in the NHS - are planning to stage industrial action on July 20-21, where they will only provide scaled-back "Christmas day cover", which means emergency care will be provided with a very limited amount of routine work.

The chief executive of NHS England said strikes by NHS staff cannot become "business as usual". Amanda Pritchard told BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg show: "So there is no doubt that the sooner that we can bring this to a resolution, the better for patients.

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"Because we’ve already had well over half a million appointments rescheduled as a consequence of industrial action. As a junior manager, I was there ringing patients having to tell them that their appointments were being changed.

"It’s a heartbreaking thing to do and I know how frustrating that is for patients. So the sooner that we can bring this to an end, the better. We can’t let it become business as usual for the NHS.”

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