Doctors’ strike has little impact

St Helens Hospital
St Helens Hospital

LOCAL health chiefs have reported that it was business as normal last week, despite a 24-hour doctors’ strike.

Most family doctors provided a normal service during the British Medical Association’s industrial action last Thursday (June 21).

Out of 240 GP practices across Merseyside, 147 were open as usual. 86 offered a limited service and seven were mixed surgeries in which not all doctors took part in the strike.

A spokeswoman for NHS Merseyside said: “The British Medical Association action caused little or no disruption to services in Halton and St Helens’ GP practices.

“Whilst 14 out of the 54 practices in Halton and St Helens reported they were taking part in the action, all practices continued to offer a normal service during the day.”

But doctors’ representative Dr Rob Barnett denied that it showed a crisis of confidence in the British Medical Association’s stance over proposed pension changes.

He said: “I feel it was important to try to get our point of view over to people and the patients I have spoken to really do understand.

“These changes do not just affect doctors, they will affect all healthcare professionals - as well as others within the public sector.”