Large number of cancelled NHS appointments due to strike action is damning indictment of Government’s intransigence to get around the table

by BMA media team

BMA press release

Published: Wednesday 30 August 2023
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Responding to NHS England figures1 which show that there have been 944,470 cancelled appointments as result of NHS strikes since December, 47,129 of which were from the latest consultants' strike on 24 to 26 August  BMA council chair Professor Phil Banfield said:

“As doctors caring for patients over years of increasingly challenging conditions, the last thing we ever wanted was for patients to experience such disruption. Unfortunately, these figures are a damning indictment of the Government’s intransigence to get around the table and come up with a credible offer that would see these strikes called off.

“As well as the impact on patient care, the amount of money that strikes have cost the NHS - now around £1billion - shows just what waste this Government is willing to sanction whilst demonstrating how little it values the very doctors so essential to restoring the health and therefore wealth of this country. This is an investment in future generations, but it is portrayed cynically as an unaffordable cost. 

“The only way to get elective recovery care back on track and a fully-fledged workforce that can care for patients now and in the years to come is to properly fund the expertise our patients need. Doctors are the solution, not the problem and what happens next rests entirely with the PM and Chancellor. We need to see a credible offer that also aims to restore eroded pay to put an end to these strikes.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.  

  1. NHS England data on cancelled appointments in the NHS as a result of industrial action since December 2022

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