Militant junior doctors leader goes on HOLIDAY as his colleagues launch most disruptive strike in NHS history | The Sun

A MILITANT leader of junior doctors has gone on holiday as his colleagues launch the most disruptive strike in NHS history.

Dr Robert Laurenson, 28, helped orchestrate the 96-hour walkout leaving cancer patients sidelined.

Industrial action kicked off on Tuesday with 30,000 junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) not turning up for their shifts.

And as thousands marched the street over a pay row, Dr Laurenson was on annual leave for a friend's wedding.

The co-chairman of the BMA’s junior doctor committee has been encouraging strikes in a bid to get a 35 per cent pay rise.

Staff choosing to strike over the next four days have been told they won't get paid.


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However, the trainee GP, who is also a director of his parent's multi-million pound investment firm, booked paid leave and won't be penalised.

A BMA spokesman told the MailOnlilne: "Dr Laurenson is off work this week fulfilling a long-standing commitment to attend the wedding of a family friend.

"He remains actively involved in the planning of the dispute and we expect he will be undertaking some media work."

They added doctors who booked the period off before strike dates were announced, "must" be paid and "should not be called in" to help with limited staff numbers.

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Hospital bosses are drafting in GPs, medics, pharmacists and community nurses to cover doctors’ overnight shifts.

Sir Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, warned shift cover is “very fragile”.

Miriam Deakin, of NHS Providers, added: “This is going to be a very long, difficult week.”

More than 250,000 appointments will be cancelled, including for critically-ill cancer patients, as staff focus on life-or-death cases.

Brits were also urged to “avoid risky behaviour” as the NHS won't be able to provide the level of care.

Matthew Taylor, of the NHS Confederation, said: “These strikes are going to have a catastrophic impact on the capacity of the NHS to recover services.

“There's no point hiding the fact that there will be risks to patient safety and patient dignity.

“Obviously if you have a medical emergency you need to call 999, but if you have a concern then there's 111, there's the NHS website – try to use the NHS in the most responsible way you can.

“Try to avoid risky behaviour, because the NHS is not going to be able to provide the level of care that we want to provide.”

Talks with Health Secretary Steve Barclay and BMA broke down last month within half an hour.

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Mr Barclay said: “It is extremely disappointing the BMA has called strike action for four consecutive days. 

“Not only will the walkouts risk patient safety, but they have also been timed to maximise disruption after the Easter break.”

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