JUNIOR doctors will strike again today (February 10) 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 24 hours starting from 8am.
A similar strike last month saw 12 clinics cancelled and two operations called off across SWFT’s sites in Leamington, Warwick, Stratford and the Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston.
Following the walk-out, health secretary Jeremy Hunt called a meeting with BMA chiefs, but after being unable to come to an agreement the strikes were rescheduled.
A BMA spokesman said: “It is particularly frustrating the government is still digging in its heels.”
“The government’s entrenched position in refusing to recognise Saturday working as unsocial hours, together with its continued threat to impose a contract so fiercely resisted by junior doctors across England, leaves us with no alternative but to continue with industrial action.’
But SWFT bosses say they are once again trying to keep disruption to a minimum.
Medical director Charles Ashton said: “We are working with the BMA to ensure that patient safety is not affected.
“During the industrial action, consultants and other staff who are not taking part will be working to ensure there is no impact on any of our emergency services. We will need to reduce some non-urgent outpatient appointments.
“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.”