Junior doctors' strike ends at Queen Alexandra Hospital

THE two-day strike by junior doctors has finished but those taking part said action will continue until they feel they are listened to by the government.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 6:12 am
Junior doctors' strike at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

The strike was the fifth time that the doctors have walked out as a result of disputes over their new proposed contract and the first all-out strike in the history on the NHS.

A picket line was outside Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, which had to reschedule more than 100 operations.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, confirmed 66 operations were postponed on Tuesday with a further 54 yesterday.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Reza Rahman, from the anaesthetics department at QA Hospital, said: ‘We will continue to strike until the government starts listening.

‘The two-day industrial action was to send out a strong statement to the government.

‘All we want is to negotiate the new contract because at the moment, it feels like we have been backed into a corner.

‘We have been outside the Department of Health, outside Jeremy Hunt’s offices prepared to speak to him.

‘He has refused to acknowledge us so we have no other option but to keep striking until he does.’

The long-running dispute between junior doctors and the government started in October last year.

Junior doctors feel a contract with seven-day working has been forced upon them with little negotiation, and say that the issue is not about pay rates.

The first strike by the BMA was in January and saw thousands of doctors walk out for the first time in 40 years.

Since then, several more strikes have been held in a bid to get Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to look again at the contract.

Changes to the contract makes it cheaper to rota doctors on at weekends – something ministers say is needed to improve care on a Saturday and Sunday.

They say the aim is to deliver a safer, seven-day NHS so everyone receives the same quality of service regardless of what time and day they need care.