NHS strikes see man's life-changing op cancelled TWICE – as wife reveals third could be called off due to walkouts

Poll

Do YOU agree with the junior doctor and consultant strikes?

  • Yes 95 votes
  • No 895 votes

A patient’s operation to ease his crippling migraines has been cancelled twice due to strikes by NHS medics.

The patient’s wife Fiona Chapman, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, said her partner was due to undergo the procedure in June but it was called off due to industrial action by doctors.

His operation, which would place a device at the back of the head to zap nearby nerves and ease pain, was pushed back to August – before being cancelled again.

Ms Chapman, whose husband can no longer work due to his condition, was told by doctors that they hope to operate in October. But now he has been warned again that further walkouts by NHS staff could trigger further delays.

It comes as junior doctors today enter their third day of strikes this week.

Fiona Chapman (pictured), from Wadebridge, Cornwall, said her partner was due to undergo the procedure in June but this was called off due to industrial action by doctors

Fiona Chapman (pictured), from Wadebridge, Cornwall, said her partner was due to undergo the procedure in June but this was called off due to industrial action by doctors

Ms Chapman, whose husband (left) can no longer work due to his severe pain, was told by doctors that they hope to operate in October — but has been warned that further walkouts by NHS staff could trigger further delays

Ms Chapman, whose husband (left) can no longer work due to his severe pain, was told by doctors that they hope to operate in October — but has been warned that further walkouts by NHS staff could trigger further delays

Consultants in England have taken to the picket lines on four separate days so far this summer, while junior doctors have staged 19 days of strike action this year. Both will return to the picket lines together on October, 2, 3 and 4. Radiographers are also set to join medics by walking out for 24 hours from 8am on October 3

Consultants in England have taken to the picket lines on four separate days so far this summer, while junior doctors have staged 19 days of strike action this year. Both will return to the picket lines together on October, 2, 3 and 4. Radiographers are also set to join medics by walking out for 24 hours from 8am on October 3

Ms Chapman told Good Morning Britain: ‘My husband is waiting to go to a specialist hospital in London to have a stimulator put in his scalp because he suffers from chronic migraine.

‘He’s had it all his life but it has got much worse in the last few years to the point that he’s now being medically retired because he can no longer work due to the pain. 

‘He was due an operation in June and this was cancelled due to the doctors’ strike with ten days’ notice to go. 

‘It was rescheduled for August and was cancelled again and we now hope for a provisional date in October. 

‘But again, we’ve been told this will be dependent on the scheduling due to the doctors strike.’ 

It comes as junior doctors enter the final day of their latest round of industrial action. The walkout, which began at 7am on Wednesday, will end on Saturday morning.

Consultants also took to picket lines for 48 hours this week, marking the first time in the health service’s 75-year history that both groups of medics took coordinated strike action.

This left patients with ‘Christmas Day’ cover in hospitals, while emergency units staffed and a basic level of cover on wards.

Further joint action by both groups of medics are planned for October 2, 3 and 4. 

Health leaders warned patients to expect five ‘Christmas Days’ in the next three weeks, meaning most non-emergency care has been cancelled. 

Prior to this week’s walkouts, junior doctors staged 19 days of strike action this year, with consultants taking to the picket lines on four separate days. 

Many routine hospital appointments and treatments, including cancer care, have been postponed as a result of industrial action, which is being coordinated by the British Medical Association (BMA).

Senior leaders expect the toll to hit one million as a result of the latest strikes, with 100,000 cancellations expected this week alone.

However, they have warned that the true impact on patients is far worse, as some hospitals have stopped scheduling procedures for strike days, meaning these are not reflected in the data.

But patients have been urged to attend appointments if they have not been told it is cancelled — as some doctors are still working.

Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairman of the BMA’s junior doctor committee, told Good Morning Britain: ‘I feel horrified that Fiona and her family and her husband have unfortunately had to have their appointments and surgeries in this instance rescheduled because of the continuous failures of our Government. 

‘Our Government have allowed a workforce crisis to develop that has seen our waiting lists shoot up by millions over the past few years before any strike action. 

Some 885,154 appointments have been postponed since NHS industrial action — which has involved staff including doctors, nurses and paramedics — kicked-off in December

Some 885,154 appointments have been postponed since NHS industrial action — which has involved staff including doctors, nurses and paramedics — kicked-off in December

England's backlog, for procedures like hip and knee replacements, now stands at 7.6million, official figures revealed last week. It means roughly one in seven people across the country are currently stuck in the system awaiting care

England’s backlog, for procedures like hip and knee replacements, now stands at 7.6million, official figures revealed last week. It means roughly one in seven people across the country are currently stuck in the system awaiting care 

Pictured: NHS consultants and junior doctors carry placards as they strike outside St Thomas' hospital in London on September 20

Pictured: NHS consultants and junior doctors carry placards as they strike outside St Thomas’ hospital in London on September 20

‘And all we wanted to do was have a reasonable conversation with the Government about how doctors are underpaid and therefore not able to look after patients properly.

‘But they have ignored us and forced us into strike action and have made no effort to try and avert that strike action which is a completely different approach from what we’ve seen for our colleagues in Scotland.

‘So, I’m sorry to Fiona and her family, of course, for strike action causing disruption.

‘But it’s by nature that it has to be disruptive to put pressure onto the Government to come back to the table.

‘But in both instances the Government failed to act and this could have been avoided in the first place.’

The BMA, which is behind the strikes, argues that medics have seen their pay be eroded by 35 per cent over the last 15 years. As a result, junior doctors have called for a full 35 per cent pay uplift, while consultants set their pay demand at 11 per cent.

For comparison, the Government has offered junior doctors a pay rise between 8.1 and 10.3 per cent, while consultants have been offered 6 per cent.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay this week accused the BMA of ‘increasing militancy’.

He launched a consultation into proposed minimum service laws, which could order medics off picket lines and into hospitals during strike action to ring fence patient care.

Mr Barclay revealed that unions that fail to provide enough medics to cover strike days could be slapped with £1million fines under the new rules, which, if passed, are not expected to come into effect until next year.

He said: ‘The BMA or other unions who deliberately breach the service levels would face fines up to a £1million.

‘It’s worth reiterating doctors in training have received a fair and reasonable pay rise – as recommended by the independent pay review body.’

The NHS has declared 22 critical incidents — when a NHS trust is unable to deliver critical services, meaning patients could be at risk — since health service strikes began in December, the Department of Health revealed this week. 

This has seen critical care patients transferred to other hospitals due to staffing shortages, while cancer surgery and treatment were postponed. 

Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that, due to a shortage of staff triggered by the strikes, the NHS is paying thousands of pounds for doctors to cover shifts.

In one case, University Hospitals Plymouth paid a consultant more than £3,000 to cover a 12-and-a-half-hour night shift, supposed to be performed by a junior doctor, according to a BBC Freedom of Information request.

source: dailymail.co.uk