OPERATIONS have been postponed at Rotherham Hospital as junior doctors prepare for their first-ever full withdrawal of labour tomorrow.
A spokeswoman for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust — which runs the hospital — said 147 operations and 173 appointments have been postponed this week as a result of the strike.
Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) will hold a full walkout — including those providing emergency cover — from 8am until 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday (April 26 and 27).
The BMA claim health secretary Jeremy Hunt failed to undertake an equality impact assessment prior to the government imposing terms and conditions on junior doctors.
The changes include the curbing of junior doctors’ pay package and changes to what is classed as “unsociable hours”.
Guaranteed pay increases linked to time in the job are also expected to be scrapped and replaced with a system linked to progression through set training stages.
Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chairman, said: “No junior doctor wants to take this action but the government has left us with no choice. In refusing to lift imposition and listen to junior doctors' outstanding concerns, the government will bear direct responsibility for the first full walkout of doctors in this country.”
A spokeswoman for Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said: “To minimise inconvenience for our patients, the trust has been undertaking significant planning in preparation for the strike action and ‘froze’ a number of these slots in advance of this week.
“All patients whose treatment has been affected have been notified. Therefore, if you have an appointment at the Trust and have not heard from us, you should attend as normal.
“Accident and emergency departments remain open for patients with serious and life threatening conditions. As is always the case, we would urge people to think about the best place to access care if they become ill. Getting the right care, first time, will ensure that they get the best possible treatment, leaving emergency health services free for those who need them most.
“If you become ill with a non-urgent condition and need advice, please visit www.nhs.uk or go to your local pharmacist. If you need medical help but it's not an emergency, call 111, or contact your GP.”