At the peak of the action, there were 27,361 staff not at work due to industrial action.
There were however a high number of nil returns on the workforce data collection so these figures are not the full picture. In the previous junior doctors’ strike there were 175,000 cancellations across three days.
NHS national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, (speaking yesterday), said:“Today’s figures lay bare the colossal impact of industrial action on planned care in the NHS. Each of the 195,000 appointments postponed has an impact on the lives of individuals and their families and creates further pressure on services and on a tired workforce – and this is likely to be an underestimate of the impact as some areas provisionally avoided scheduling appointments for these strike days.
“Our staff now have an immense amount of work to catch up on hundreds of thousands of appointments, all while continuing to make progress on tackling the backlog of people who have been waiting the longest for treatment. We have now seen nearly half a million appointments rescheduled over the last five months, and with each strike, it becomes harder. While our staff are doing all they possibly can to manage the disruption, it is becoming increasingly difficult and the impact on patients and staff will unfortunately continue to worsen.”
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