Joint strikes by junior doctors and consultants will bring the NHS to a ‘near standstill’, not unlike three consecutive Christmas day shifts.
From 7am today (Monday 2 October) to 7am on Thursday (5 October) both junior doctors and consultants will deliver Christmas day levels of staffing, with emergency care still accessible.
Last week saw the first ever joint industrial action by both job titles, with 129,913 inpatient and outpatient appointments rescheduled.
More than 26,802 staff were absent at the strike’s peak on 20 September.
NHS national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: ‘NHS services have had very little time to recover from the previous action, and to now face an unprecedented three consecutive days of ‘Christmas Day’ cover this week which will prove extremely challenging, with almost all routine care brought to a near standstill.
‘Staff are working incredibly hard to prioritise emergency care, and we’re very grateful to the public for using the NHS wisely during this period of disruption by using 999 in life-threatening situations and 111 online and community services like pharmacies and GPs for everything else.’