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UK Doctors on strike over pay for four days, NHS warns of health disaster

8 April: The NHS Confederation, which represents health trusts in England, has warned that the junior doctors’ strike next week could have a significant impact on patients and the health service. The strike, which will last for four days from Tuesday to Saturday, could result in up to 250,000 medical appointments and operations being postponed or cancelled, according to Dr Layla McCay, the director of policy at the confederation.

She said that the strike, which comes after the Easter weekend, would cause more disruption than any previous industrial action by junior doctors. She added that health bosses were worried about the effect on patient safety, as consultants may not be able to cover for the junior doctors who are on leave or on the picket line.

The junior doctors, who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA), are demanding a 35% pay rise to compensate for 15 years of below-inflation wage increases. The BMA says that it is willing to negotiate with the health secretary, Steve Barclay, but only if he makes a credible offer. The BMA also says that it has plans to protect patients during the strike, and that it will call off junior doctors from the picket line if there is an immediate threat to lives in individual hospitals.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says that the BMA has to cancel the strike before any talks can take place. The DHSC says that the strike is irresponsible and unnecessary, and that it will put patients at risk. The DHSC also says that it has offered a fair and reasonable pay deal to the junior doctors, which includes a 2% annual increase and a £1,000 bonus for those who work in hard-to-recruit specialties.

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