Junior doctors to strike at Dorset County Hospital

Junior doctors at Dorset County Hospital will start their next round of industrial action in the coming week in the days before Christmas.

As of 7am on Wednesday, December 20 until 7am Saturday, December 23 junior doctors will be on strike which will be followed by more action in the New Year.

The six days of strike action in January will be the longest walkout in NHS history; it starts from 7am on Wednesday, January 3 until 7am on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

A spokesperson for Dorset County Hospital said: “Our junior doctors are vital for patient care and the running of our hospital services. 

“During their industrial action, some medically led activity will be postponed to ensure that we can provide safe emergency and inpatient care.

“You will hear directly from us if we have to rearrange your appointment – if you don’t hear from us please attend as planned. 

“No-one should put off seeking urgent or emergency care during the strikes and people with serious, life-threatening conditions will continue to be seen at our Emergency Department (ED).

“However, please keep 999 and Emergency Department clear for life-threatening emergencies.”

This latest round of strikes follows on from industrial action taken back in October which saw both junior and senior doctors strike on the same day for the first time ever.

Doctors have been striking throughout the year as they seek better pay.

After recent talks with the government, doctors were offered an additional three per cent pay uplift, which the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Junior Doctor Committee (JDC) co-chairs said would be ‘unevenly spread across doctors’ grades’ so ‘would still amount to pay cuts for many doctors this year’.

Co-chairs Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said: “We have been clear from the outset of these talks we needed to move at pace and if we did not have a credible offer, we would be forced to call strikes.

“After five weeks of intense talks, the government was unable to present a credible offer on pay by the deadline.”

They added: “It is clear the government is still not prepared to address the real-terms pay cut doctors have experienced since 2008.

“It is a great shame that even though the approach was more constructive, there was not enough on offer to shape a credible deal, which we hoped would end the dispute.

“Without enough progress by the deadline, we have no choice but to take action that demonstrates doctors are as determined as ever in reversing their pay cuts.”

Dorset Echo | Dorchester News