NHS Confederation responds to statistics showing impact of latest junior doctor strikes

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor responds to statistics showing the impact of the latest round of industrial action by junior doctors

28 December 2023

Responding to the publication of statistics showing the impact of the latest round of industrial action undertaken by junior doctors, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

"As the total number of operations and appointments cancelled due to industrial action in the NHS reaches well over a million, NHS leaders continue to despair at the impact on services, their finances and most crucially of all, patients. 

"Though over 86,000 appointments and operations were cancelled due to this latest strike, we know this number doesn't reflect the true scale of the disruption and reduced productivity as health leaders were left with no choice but to schedule less activity in anticipation. Some trusts were also not able to submit their data in time for publication. 

"NHS leaders look to next week's strikes - due to be the longest period of industrial action in the NHS to date - with trepidation. There is still time for the BMA and the government to come together and pave a way for these next strikes to be called off. 

"If, as has been the case to date, both sides are unable to reach a compromise, health leaders will be particularly concerned about the ability of key services including urgent and emergency care to be delivered safely. 

"We will soon be a year on from the Prime Minister's pledge to tackle NHS waiting lists. NHS leaders will be looking for political leadership in the new year to equip them to continue to make progress on waiting lists in the face of ongoing industrial action."