BMA allows young doctors to work in six hospitals during strike | National Health Service

Junior doctors have been granted permission to work in some hospitals during an impending strike to avoid potentially dangerous delays in cancer care, the British Medical Association said.

The six hospitals where some junior doctors will be allowed to work during the strike are part of NHS trusts Lewisham and Greenwich, Guy’s and St Thomas’, and King’s College Hospital, which are experiencing delays due to a Russian cyberattack that has forced to postpone cancer surgeries.

Commenting on the decision, the BMA said in X that a derogation would be granted for surgical registrars in respect of high-risk upper gastrointestinal, head and neck and lung cancers across all trusts.

To avoid dangerous delays in cancer care, we are granting an exception to surgical registrars working on high-risk cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, head and neck and lung at three hospital trusts: Lewisham and Greenwich, Guys & St Thomas’ and Kings College Hospital. 1/3

– The BMA (@TheBMA) June 25, 2024

He added: “This will help patients who have experienced dangerous delays in their care due to the difficulties of mitigating against malicious and unplanned cyberattack. We thank NHS England for raising their concerns for patient safety.

“The exemption only applies to surgical registrars for lung, head and neck and upper gastrointestinal cancer services in the three listed trusts. All other young doctors, including those in these consortia, can and should still strike.”

The strikes, which will take place from June 27 to July 2, are part of a long-running dispute over pay between junior doctors in England and the government.

Professor Philip Banfield, chair of the BMA council, said: “Safe patient care has always been a priority for the BMA during the strike rounds; This is ensured by giving trusts sufficient advance notice of planned strikes, so that more senior doctors provide cover during strike periods. That is why we have agreed with NHS England that a limited number of doctors will be able to work at six sites across London where the recent cyber attack has paralyzed access to life-saving surgeries.

He added: “NHS England has raised concerns with us about the safety of patients in these hospitals and we are pleased to have been able to reach an agreement which means this group of patients will not face any further delays during the strike.”

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “This new round of strike action will once again hit the NHS very hard, with almost all routine care likely to be affected and services coming under significant pressure. While warmer weather may place additional pressure on services at a time when demand for services is already high.

“As always, we are working to ensure that urgent and emergency care is a priority for patients, but there is no doubt that it is becoming increasingly difficult to restore routine services after the strikes, and the cumulative effect for patients , the staff and the NHS as a whole is huge.”

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