Retrospective analysis of the national impact of industrial action by English junior doctors in 2016
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  • Published on:
    The impact of the 2016 industrial action by junior doctors - a DGH perspective
    • Paul Griffiths, Specialist Registrar in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Furnival, Bottle, & Aylin (1) report on the national impact as a result of industrial action during the 2016 junior doctors contract dispute, both on NHS service provision and in-hospital mortality. The information gained during a time of unprecedented national uncertainty within the NHS allows us to reflect on our preparedness and planning, and it is vital that this is done on a local level to ensure that a safe service can be provided in order to guarantee good quality care should these situations arise again.

    With that in mind, we reviewed whether there was a change in number of admissions, length of stay (LOS), and in-hospital mortality for medical patients admitted during industrial action at our district general hospital (DGH). Data for strike days were compared with equivalent non-strike days during the same month. We found no significant difference in admission numbers between strike and non-strike days (345 vs. 376), LOS (median 2 days [IQR 1-8] vs. 3 days [IQR 1-9], Z = 0.835, p= 0.40), or in-hospital mortality rate (4% vs. 7%, chi-square = 3.27, p = 0.07). However, there was significant disruption to elective services during this time in order to provide senior cover for emergency work.

    As junior doctors during the recent contract dispute and industrial action, I feel that we have a duty to assess the impact of these actions on patient care. Furnival et al. highlight the challenges faced when evaluating this impact, including difficult to measu...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.