MORE than 100 appointments at Barnsley Hospital were rescheduled as a result of the latest junior doctor strike.

Across England, nearly 200,000 hospital appointments and procedures had to be rescheduled due to a 96-hour strike from April 11 to 15 in a dispute over pay.

NHS national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said the figures ‘lay bare the colossal impact of industrial action on planned care in the NHS’.

NHS England figures show 108 appointments at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were rescheduled as a result of the strikes of them, 18 were inpatient procedures, while 90 were outpatient.

Nationally, there were 20,470 inpatient and 175,755 outpatient appointments, making a total of 196,225.

The British Medical Association has demanded a 35 per cent pay rise, which Health Secretary Steve Barclay labelled ‘unrealistic’.

Dr Robert Laurenson, of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, said: “Junior doctors know all too well the frustration of patients waiting too long for care, and with a waiting list of 7.2 million in England, we are facing difficult conversations with them every single day.

“These millions of patients are not in this position because of strikes though.

“Persistent under-resourcing of the health service and under-valuing staff exacerbated by a pandemic mean we simply don’t have the workforce and capacity to provide the high-quality and timely care that patients need and deserve.

“This is why we have been led to strike, and while we are of course sorry to anyone who had their care disrupted, this is the same apology we’re already having to give to patients on a daily basis because the NHS cannot cope.”

Figures from NHS England show there were the equivalent of 192 full-time junior doctors working at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as of December 47.1 per cent of the 408 doctors working at the trust.

Any doctor below consultant level is referred to as ‘junior’, meaning junior doctors encompass doctors just starting in the NHS and those who have been training for many years for specialist positions.

They receive a wide range of salaries, with ‘foundation year one doctors’ the most junior category starting on £14.09 an hour, or around £29,000 a year.

Mr Barclay added: “It’s deeply disappointing that appointments and procedures had to be cancelled last week as a result of some junior doctors taking strike action.

“This walkout clearly had an impact on many patients as well as hampering our efforts to cut NHS waiting lists.

“We remain ready to start formal talks with the BMA as soon as the union pauses its strikes and moves significantly from its unrealistic position of demanding a 35% pay increase which would result in some junior doctors receiving a pay rise of £20,000.

“Thank you to all the staff who have worked tirelessly to cover for striking junior doctors during this period.”