Great Western Hospital junior doctors to take part in strikes

A number of Great Western Hospital’s junior doctors will be going on strike following the dispute with ministers over a new contract.

Great Western Hospital
Great Western Hospital

The government’s new contract includes an 11% rise in basic pay for doctors, but that comes at a price as other elements of pay packages are to be cut.

For example, the number of hours during the working week that are classed as unsociable – and therefore attract an extra payment – is being cut by 25%.

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The dates for industrial action are:

– 8am 1 December to 8am 2 December (junior doctors to staff emergency care)
– 8am to 5pm 8 December (full strike)
– 8am to 5pm 16 December (full strike)

Great Western Hospital: Main Entrance
Great Western Hospital: Main Entrance

Although, the Trust’s senior staff believe that only some appointments and routine operation will need to be cancelled.

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Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have plans in place to ensure any disruption to patients is kept to a minimum.

“While this is a national dispute with the government, some of our junior doctors, will be taking part and we are planning services accordingly.

“This may mean we have to postpone some appointments and routine operations, so that we can prioritise patients needing emergency care and other patients needing urgent care, such as cancer patients.

“Patients whose appointments are affected will be contacted in advance and given another date at the earliest opportunity.

“Unless contacted, patients should attend hospital as planned. Patients needing emergency treatment and women in labour should attend as normal.”