Patients in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire face day of medical disruption as junior doctors say they have no option but to strike tomorrow

Chesterfield Royal hospital is one of over 60 hospital trusts out of 99 to receive a rating of 'requires improvement'.
Chesterfield Royal hospital is one of over 60 hospital trusts out of 99 to receive a rating of 'requires improvement'.

The junior doctors strike planned for tomorrow is now almost certainly going ahead as crisis talks between government health chiefs and the British Medical Association enter their final day.

The declaration came in a letter sent to the association’s members, ahead of the last day of talks with health officials.

The BMA and health officials have been locked in talks with conciliation service Acas since Thursday, with behind the scene discussions running over the weekend in a frantic bid to make progress.

But a 24-hour hour strike is due to start at 8am on Tuesday

Striking doctors are also expected to form picket lines outside Chesterfield Royal Hospital from around 9am tomorrow.

All emergency procedures and essential services are planned to go ahead as normal, while less urgent procedures and some outpatient appointments may have to be rearranged.

The Royal’s Medical Director, Gail Collins said: “We have been working with our medical teams to ensure that we have the right cover in place to provide safe care for all our patients. In some cases this has meant redirecting resources from outpatient to inpatient care and we apologise to patients who have been inconvenienced by changed appointments. We are working with our local clinical commissioning groups and other colleagues in the health community to ensure that there is as little disruption to patients as possible over this period.”

The trust said that about 100 outpatient appointment have been affected in total across medical and surgical departments, along with 17 elective procedures which have been rescheduled by the surgical division.

There have been no cancellations in women’s and children’s procedures.

Doctors are set to take action on three days over pay and working conditions, providing emergency-only care for 24 hours from 8am on Tuesday.

This will be followed by full strikes from 8am to 5pm on December 8 and 16, with Army medics poised to be drafted in to provide cover if the stoppages go ahead.

One junior doctor who will be taking part in in the industrial action said: “Due to Jeremy Hunt’s intransigence over the junior doctor’s contract, we, as members of the BMA feel that we have had no other option but to strike against a contract that we believe will affect patient safety and cause more doctors to leave the NHS.”