Forget NHS budgetary constraints and bed blockers – there’s one story concerning hospitals, and it could have a seismic impact on the way the NHS is run.
For months, junior doctors have threatened strike action over potential changes to their contracts by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. However, following a breakthrough in talks, strikes have been tabled at the last minute.
Around 98 per cent of junior doctors were set to walk out of hospitals over proposed pay cuts and additional working hours, sparking panic that care for patients would end almost completely.
The British Medical Association can still organise strike action by January 13th, although two more planned walkouts in December have been cancelled.
Despite the strike’s cancellation, more than 600 surgical operations were postponed in England, alongside about 3,500 outpatient appointments, according to the Press Association.
The impact of strikes
But if strike action were to take place, would hygiene in hospitals be compromised?
Provided nurses and cleaning staff continued carrying out their usual tasks, the overall cleanliness of hospitals would continue. However, junior doctors wouldn’t be on hand to diagnose potentially infectious diseases, which could prove fatal for patients.
A public statement
However, neither junior doctors nor government ministers want strike action. A statement from both parties (as printed in the Guardian) states: “We intend to reach a collaborative agreement, working in partnership to produce a new contract for junior doctors, recognising their central role in patient care and the future of the NHS.
“All parties are committed to reaching an agreement that improves safety for patients and doctors and therefore NHS Employers have agreed to extend the timeframe for the BMA to commence any industrial action by four weeks to 13 January 2016 at 1700, to allow negotiations to progress.
“Within that timetable, the BMA agrees to temporarily suspend its proposed strike action and the Department of Health agrees similarly to temporarily suspend implementation of a contract without agreement.
“All parties acknowledge that they share responsibility for the safety of patients and junior doctors, which must be paramount.”
No matter if strike action continues, we’ll continue to help keep hospitals and general practices clean and hygienic with our facilities. If you’re interested in our services, explore our site for more information.