Industrial action continues to have huge impact on NHS service delivery

Assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation responds to the Welsh Government's comments ahead of next week's junior doctor industrial action.

22 March 2024

Responding to the Welsh Government’s press release on next week’s junior doctor strike action in Wales, assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Nesta Lloyd-Jones said:

“NHS leaders understand the financial challenges facing the Welsh Government, but it is disappointing that the BMA and government have still not been able to find a solution to the ongoing pay dispute.

“Next week will see the triple challenge of school holidays, strike action followed by the four-day bank holiday weekend. The combination of reduced capacity and potential increased demand will have a significant knock-on effect on the NHS in the days and weeks after the walkout action has taken place.

“Patient safety is of course the number one priority. Health leaders and their teams will pull out all the stops to fill rotas, but the reality is patients will bear the greatest burden, with around 41 per cent of outpatient appointments and 61 per cent of operations postponed across Wales in January’s three-day walkout by junior doctors.

“It’s vital Wales’ new First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care engage with health trade unions to prevent further industrial action in the NHS. Industrial action is and will continue to have a huge impact on service delivery, undoing much of the good work that has been done to recover performance following the pandemic.”