HUNDREDS of appointments were rescheduled at Hampshire Hospitals during the longest strike in NHS history. 

NHS England has published data on the number of appointments which were delayed following the latest period of strike action held by junior doctors at the beginning of 2024.

Junior doctors and hospital dental trainees began action at 7am on Wednesday, January 3 until 7am on Tuesday, January 9.

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In the six-day strike period, hundreds of appointments were rescheduled across Hampshire, including elective procedures, community service appointments and mental health and learning disability appointments.

At Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester, 37 elective inpatient appointments were rescheduled, with 352 elective outpatient appointments also rescheduled between Wednesday, January 3 and Tuesday, January 9.

No data was submitted by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for community service appointments and does not feature in the list of trusts providing mental health and learning disability appointments.

A Hampshire Hospitals spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, it was necessary to cancel a number of planned appointments in order to protect emergency and urgent care.

"We appreciate the public’s patience while our staff work hard to reschedule these appointments as quickly as possible.”

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At Hampshire Hospitals, a number of junior doctors and hospital dental trainees joined in the industrial action, with 169 staff absent on Wednesday, January 3 - the first day of the strike.

This number was followed by 158 absentees on the second day of strike, and 153, 57, 59 and 171 absentees from Friday, January 5 to Monday, January 8, respectively. 

Medical Director for NHS England in the South East, Vaughan Lewis, said: “NHS England recognises the extraordinary dedication and hard work of staff who have planned extensively and worked tirelessly to ensure patient safety is maintained during this latest period of strike action - the longest in NHS history, resulting in significant disruption for patients and their families.

“The action has again come at an enormous cost which is clear from the figures released – likely to be even higher in reality - with more than 14,500 appointments postponed at a time when our services are already under huge pressure due to winter viruses cold weather, and the ongoing efforts of the NHS to recover from the backlogs of care that built up during the covid pandemic.

“I would like to thank everyone for their continued support in what remains a very challenging time for the NHS.”