One in ten patients hit by doctors' action, Department of Health claim

 

One in 10 patients have had their operations, outpatient appointments or treatments rescheduled due to the British Medical Association's (BMA) industrial action, figures suggest.

A quarter of GP surgeries are operating a reduced service due to BMA members participating in the day of action, the Department of Health said.

Doctors up and down the country are participating in their first day of action in 37 years in protest over the Government's controversial pension reforms.

The figures, which are early indications of the effect the action is having across England, show that there are varying levels of participation around the country.

In some places up to a quarter of GP surgeries are affected by the action. But in other areas "only a handful" of doctors are taking part.

Across London, 90% of hospitals are working normally, an NHS London spokesman said.

Hospitals in the capital have had to reschedule about 490 operations and reschedule 3,200 outpatient appointments.

There are 17% of GP practices providing a reduced service as a result of the action.

Of the 500 GPs in NHS Bedfordshire and Luton, 94 took part in the action, affecting 25% of practices in the county.

In Herefordshire, four out of 25 practices had GPs taking part in the action.

At Wye Valley NHS Trust, eight of 37 operations were rescheduled and 52 of 597 outpatient appointments were called off.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said 14 operations and 146 outpatient appointments were cancelled due to the action. The Trust usually performs 306 operations a day and sees around 461 outpatients.

NHS Hospitals in Nottingham saw seven of 140 operations cancelled.

In Dudley, all 53 GP practices remained open. Five practices confirmed they would be taking part in the action.

At the Medway NHS Foundation Trust, no operations were cancelled.

In Kent and Medway, there is at least one GP taking part in the action at 77 of the 273 practices in the area.

There were 331 outpatient appointments cancelled in hospitals in Barking, Havering and Redbridge. While 843 outpatient appointments are going ahead as planned.

In Leeds, very "few doctors" declared they would be taking part, a spokeswoman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said.

Of 44 outpatient clinics due to be held at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, only nine clinics have been affected.

Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital have rescheduled 13 non-emergency appointments. This equates to about one eighth of the total number of non-emergency operations. Of 1,200 outpatient appointments, 160 were rebooked for another day.

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said that 27 operations had been cancelled. On a normal Thursday, 420 non-emergency surgeries would take place.

A spokeswoman said that 118 of 4,200 outpatient appointments were postponed.

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust said that just nine planned operations have been rescheduled and about 100 outpatient appointments were called off.

In the south west of England no GP surgeries were closed, with 671 of 1,821 having at least one member of staff taking part in the action. A spokesman for NHS South of England said 468 of 5,000 non-urgent operations were rebooked for another date.

Almost 3,500 outpatient appointments were affected compared with an average 47,000 outpatient attendances daily, the spokesman said.

In NHS Cumbria 38 GP surgeries out of 81 had someone taking part.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "In the run up to these strikes our objective has been to minimise disruption for patients. We asked doctors to recognise that their quarrel was not with patients but with the Government.

"I am pleased that a significant majority of doctors have done just that and maintained services for their patients.

"But let us not forget that the consequence of the BMA's decision to ask doctors to go on strike has been that thousands of patients who expected to have an operation or an appointment today have been inconvenienced or distressed by delay to their care.

"It is extremely regrettable if any patients have suffered unnecessarily. We will do everything we can to ensure that those patients get their treatment as soon as possible. I call on the BMA to commit to further co-operation to enable patients to have their rescheduled operations and appointments as soon as possible."

The BMA reluctantly announced the action last month after it accused ministers of pressing ahead with "totally unjustified" increases in pension contributions and a later retirement age for doctors, even though a deal on pensions was agreed four years ago.

All non-urgent work would be postponed, the BMA said, adding that although the action will be disruptive, doctors will ensure patient safety is protected.

Doctors will see anyone who is ill, or who believes they are ill, but will not do paperwork.

Accident and emergency departments and maternity services are running as normal, and tests for critical conditions such as cancer are still available.

But some non-emergency hospital clinics, outpatient appointments and planned surgery may have been be postponed.

GP practices remain open but some may have postponed routine appointments which can be rearranged for another day.

According to Mr Lansley, the planned action could see up to 30,000 operations cancelled, 58,000 diagnostic tests postponed and 200,000 outpatient appointments rescheduled.

Up to 1.25 million GP appointments will be pushed into the days and weeks following the action, he said.

The last time doctors took action was in 1975, when consultants suspended goodwill activities and worked to contract over a contractual dispute, and junior doctors worked to a 40-hour week because of dissatisfaction with the progress of contract negotiations.

PA

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit