Junior doctors strikes (11 to 15 April 2023)
The BMA and HCSA have announced that junior doctors strikes will run from 06:59 on Tuesday 11 April until 06:59 on Saturday 15 April. This comes immediately after a 4-day bank holiday weekend, which is already a busy time for the NHS.
Junior doctors make around half of all doctors in the NHS. Junior doctors are qualified doctors who have anywhere up to eight year’s experience working as a hospital doctor, depending on their specialty, or up to three years in general practice.
Previous industrial action by junior doctors over three days saw 175,000 hospital appointments disrupted. As these strikes are over a longer period, we would expect a greater number of appointments to be impacted.
During strike action, the NHS will prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery. Appointments and procedures will only be cancelled where it is necessary and they will be rescheduled immediately, where possible.
Advice for patients and the public
If the NHS has not contacted you, please attend your appointment as planned. The NHS will contact you if your appointment needs to be rescheduled due to strike action.
The NHS is asking patients to choose services wisely during industrial action and take simple steps to help ensure care is available to patients who need it most.
GP practices will continue to be open during the junior doctors strike. Please continue to attend your GP and dental appointments, unless you are contacted and told otherwise.
Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is really important that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
If you need medical help or advice, or you are unsure about whether you should go to hospital, go to NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when you should still call 999.
Patients should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk).
Patients should take advice from 111 / 999 call-handlers on whether there are circumstances where it is suitable for them to make their own way to hospital. During strike days, it is likely 999 call handlers will be very busy. NHS 111 call centres will have fewer staff, with longer call response times expected across the system. As a result, we are urging anyone with non-urgent care need to first seek help from NHS 111 online.
The NHS is also asking the public to play their part by taking simple steps during industrial action to look after themselves, loved ones and checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.
Videos and resources in other languages
Bank holiday weekend and junior doctors’ strike advice – Polish
Bank holiday weekend and junior doctors’ strike advice – Telugu
British Sign Language Videos
Advice on the junior doctors’ strike – British Sign Language