JUNIOR doctors have again gone on strike today over proposed changes to their contract by government.
Doctors are objecting plans by the Department of Health which they say would force them to work longer hours with no extra pay and potentially put patients’ lives at risk.
Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) from South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) are joining junior doctors across the country in only providing emergency care for 48 hours starting from 8am.
A similar strike last month saw clinics cancelled and operations called off across SWFT’s sites in Leamington, Warwick, Stratford and the Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston.
The Patients Association – which represents patients across the UK – has come out in support of junior doctors.
But despite please from the association, both the government and BMA have remained adamant they will not get back around the negotiating table.
Instead the BMA has launched a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose the contract.
The strikes are set to last until 8am on Friday, but further action on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday 27 will see a full walkout with no emergency care provided.
Medical director Charles Ashton said of the current strikes: “We are working with the BMA to ensure that patient safety is not affected. On the days of the industrial action, consultants and other staff who are not taking industrial action will be working to ensure there is no impact on any of our emergency services.
“We may need to reduce some non-urgent outpatient appointments but the trust will be contacting any patients affected by this directly. If you are unable to attend your appointment please contact the hospital as soon as possible so that this slot can be offered to another patient.”