Doctors in Wythenshawe join 48 hour strike over contract

Doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital are beginning their third strike this morning, this time for 48 hours, over plans by the government to impose a new contract which they claim will put patients at risk.

Operations will be cancelled at the hospital – but medics are once again providing emergency cover.

The government says the new contract is required to provide a “seven day NHS”, but doctors’ union the British Medical Association, claims patient safety will be compromised by stretching the existing staffing.

Silas Nicholls, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), which runs Wythenshawe Hospital, promised patients in need of emergency or urgent will be treated as quickly as possible.

He said: “Any patient scheduled to have treatment at UHSM on Wednesday 9th or Thursday 10th March and directly affected by this planned industrial action will have been notified of plans. All postponed appointment or operations will be rearranged. If you have a query regarding your appointment please call 0161 291 5197.

“You can support us by keeping A&E free for those patients who require urgent attention for a serious or life threatening situation and by accessing alternative healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, GPs, Dentists, Walk-in services, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk).

“Thank you to all our patients and colleagues for their understanding and support during this time.”

The poll of 860 adults by Ipsos MORI for the BBC showed 65% supported doctors going on strike – almost the same proportion as backed them ahead of the walkout last month. Some 17% said they were against the strike, a drop from 22% on last time.

The poll did show an increase in the proportion of people blaming both sides for the dispute. That now stands at 28%, up from 18%. However, the majority – 57% – still blame the government.

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