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Health / Some hospital appointments called off despite strike suspension

Photo: Shetland News

A NUMBER of hospital appointments and procedures have been cancelled in Lerwick despite a planned junior doctors strike in Scotland being suspended.

Junior doctors were due to go on strike between 12 and 15 July across the country in a bid to secure “pay restoration”.

Last week NHS Shetland confirmed some clinic appointments and theatre procedures were being cancelled due to the strike.

But it was soon after confirmed that following a new pay deal offer from the Scottish Government the industrial action had been suspended.

This is whilst the British Medical Association consults its members.

Despite the action being suspended, NHS Shetland has confirmed that a number of appointments and procedures have been cancelled.

This is partly due to “other system pressures”, such as higher than usual emergency department activity, in addition to the industrial action.

NHS Shetland chief executive Brian Chittick said teams have been working since the announcement last week to reinstate clinics, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures.

“Recognising the anxiety that short notice cancellations cause, we have wherever possible offered new appointment dates and all patients affected have been notified if their appointment, test or procedure will not go ahead this week,” he added.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) had previously rejected a 14.5 per cent pay rise over two years.

The BMA had called for a 23.5 per cent pay increase for junior doctors.

As part of the improved offer junior doctors will receive a pay rise of 12.4 per cent.

For the following three financial years, junior doctors will receive a guaranteed minimum pay uplift of inflation every year.

Over this three-year period, the Scottish Government has committed to negotiate further annual pay rises on top of inflation that must, “make credible progress on the path towards pay restoration”.

In addition, BMA Scotland will enter contract negotiations with the Scottish Government from this autumn with the aim of improving the working and training conditions of junior doctors.

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