NHS London warns of ‘significant disruption’ over 10 days as industrial action continues

7/13/2023 10:44 AM

NHS London is warning of ‘significant disruption’ in the capital as junior doctors and consultants prepare to strike over the coming 10 days.


The five-day walk out by junior doctors across London started today at 7am and will last until 7am on Tuesday, 18 July. 


This will be followed by a 48-hour strike by consultants from 7am on Thursday, 20 July until 7am on Saturday, 22 July.


During the strikes the NHS will prioritise emergency and critical care, maternity care and where possible patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.  


Londoners are urged to look after themselves and their loved ones and to check in on vulnerable family members and neighbours ahead of the action.


The strike by junior doctors is the longest single period of industrial action by medical staff in the history of the health service. 


Junior doctors make up almost half of the NHS workforce, and this action will affect elective care and emergency wait times.


Consultants will continue to provide all emergency services but routine services will be affected.


People who need care should still come forward to access the care they need in the usual way – only using 999 and A&E in life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online and other services for non-urgent health needs. Pharmacies and GPs are unaffected by the strikes so patients can still get appointments and health advice.


Dr Chris Streather, Medical Director for the NHS in London said: “As we enter the eighth month of industrial action I’d like to thank everyone in the NHS in London for working so hard to limit the impact of strikes on patients.


“We have prepared extensively, but the combined impact of a five-day junior doctor strike, following by a 48-hour consultant strike means that we are expecting all services to be very busy. 


“People with life-threatening conditions should always call 999 but we ask Londoners to contact NHS 111 and use their pharmacy and GP practice as a first point of call for care.” 


June’s industrial action by junior doctors lasted for 72 hours and saw more than 4,500 staff off each day and approximately 33,000 hospital appointments rescheduled across London.


With the strike lasting five days this week we are expecting more appointments to be affected in the capital. However, it is important that Londoners still attend planned appointments unless advised otherwise.