The strike went ahead despite reports of last-minute informal talks. The BBC reported details of a compromise deal being proposed by the doctors’ union the BMA. Junior doctors would accept a basic pay rise of half the 11% in the government’s proposals in return for Saturday not being treated as plain time.
The second strike will see junior doctors walk out from all but emergency roles at 8am Wednesday for 24 hours.
NHS England has said 1,150 planned inpatient procedures and 1,734 day procedures have been cancelled because of the action.
BMA junior doctors committee chairman Dr Johann Malawana said in a message to members on the eve of the strike that ‘taking industrial action is still daunting’. Dr Malawana said that while support from fellow health professionals and the public during the first strike was ‘fantastic’, ‘we know that support isn't universal’.
The strike, however, ‘showed how united we are as a profession’.
GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul, along with the chairs of the BMA consultants and SAS committee had written to union members ‘reinforcing that unity’, said Dr Malawana.
‘We will once again show we are one profession and we do stand together’, he added.
Junior doctors strike
GPC trainee subcommittee member Dr Bea Bakshi told GPonline the strike was important for the future of general practice. The government was attempting to stretch GP and junior doctor services further without proper resources, she said.
Dr Bakshi said junior doctors just wanted to secure a contract that is 'safe for patients and delivers high quality care'.
A DH spokesman said: 'This strike is completely unnecessary. It is very disappointing that tens of thousands of patients and NHS staff have been inconvenienced by the BMA.
'We have now agreed the vast majority of the contract detail with the BMA but it’s a great shame they have broken the agreement we made at ACAS to discuss the outstanding issue of Saturday working and pay for unsocial hours.'
NHS England’s lead on the strike Anne Rainsberry said: ‘The NHS is doing everything possible to minimise the impact of this regrettable strike which will delay care for thousands of patients at a time of year when service pressures across the health service are already at their highest.
‘We will monitor the situation across the country to ensure plans are in place, and people are ready to respond to any significant increases in pressure in any region over the period of this strike.’