Hospital administrators in England claim they cannot ensure patient safety during the junior doctors' four-day strike next week. The people and St. Thomas' NHS Trust in London conceded that patients could be injured due to managers' inability to staff rotas.
Several hospital administrators expressed alarm over the strike, which will impact both emergency and scheduled care. The British Medical Association has declined to exempt any services, but claims to have plans to safeguard patients.
That is in contrast to the policies adopted by the Royal College of Nursing and the ambulance unions, which excluded vital emergency services from strike action. Instead, the BMA has said that it will comply with union demands for life-and-limb cover by contemplating removing junior doctors from the picket line if particular hospitals report that lives are in imminent danger during the strike, which runs from Tuesday at 07:00 BST to Saturday at 07:00 BST.
The British Medical Association (BMA) is seeking a 35% pay increase to make up for 15 years of below-inflation wage increases, but the government has deemed the request impractical. Hospitals were able to draft in consultants to provide coverage during last month's junior doctor's strike. However, an estimated quarter of them will be on leave next week.
The four-day walkout is immediately following the Easter holiday. NHS administrators are warning they fear the worst this time around. More than 40 percent of the medical workforce is comprised of junior physicians, who range from recent university graduates to physicians with more than ten years of experience.
Dr. Hanna, the interim head of the trust's Evelina London Children's Hospital, stated that as a result of the redeployment of senior doctors, up to half of all planned treatments could be postponed, in addition to the effects of prior walkouts. She stated that the cumulative effect of this was particularly dangerous for developing youngsters. According to NHS Providers, which represents health managers, such worries are pervasive.
Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive, stated, "It is evident from our lengthy engagement with trust leaders that we are in an unknown area." He mentioned that they require an immediate response to prevent future strikes. In addition, the organization issued a series of remarks from hospital CEOs.
One person warned that this pertains mostly to the maintenance of safety in emergency departments, surgery and acute care and less to the cancellation of routinely scheduled tasks. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Services stated that the government was likewise concerned about the safety risk. He added that they are working with NHS England to develop patient safety contingency plans.
The NHS would prioritize protecting emergency care, intensive care, maternity and newborn care, and trauma care. However, BMA workforce lead Dr. Latifa Patel stated that the NHS and the BMA had agreed upon a framework to ensure patient safety in "severe or unforeseen circumstances."
Dr. Latifa Patel said that no one understands better than them that an overstretched and understaffed NHS provides patients with substandard treatment 365 days a year.