Thousands of operations cancelled as doctors strike

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OPERATIONS are set to be cancelled across Lancashire today as junior doctors strike over pay and conditions.

Junior doctors at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals – Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley Hospital – will only provide emergency care today after The British Medical Association (BMA) confirmed its members will strike today.

Junior doctors on strike today at the Royal Preston Hospital, over the new government contract

Junior doctors on strike today at the Royal Preston Hospital, over the new government contract

The 24-hour strike is from 8am today and will continue with a 48-hour stoppage from 8am on Tuesday, January 26, and a full withdrawal of labour from 8am to 5pm on Wednesday, February 10.

A strike was called off at the last minute in November but the BMA has confirmed it will now go ahead.

A spokesman from the BMA said: “A picket will take place at Royal Preston Hospital on Green Lane, north Fulwood from 8am until 12.30pm.

“At this time the three periods of striking will go ahead as they have been planned.”

The strike could see thousands of routine operations cancelled and patients could be told seek help elsewhere.

A spokesman for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, said: “We want to avoid any unnecessary disruption to care and provide as many services as we can on today, so are deferring making decisions about the impact of the planned junior doctor industrial action as late as we can. Our booking team will have already contacted patients to advise them if their appointment is definitely going ahead irrespective of the strike action - and in these cases we say please attend as normal as we have discussed.

“Patients who have not been contacted have been told their appointment has been cancelled and to not go to the hospital.”