Salisbury District Hospital has issued a statement to inform patients and the public about the level of services that will remain available during the junior doctors’ strike.

The strikes are being described as the longest walkout of its kind in the NHS’s history amid ongoing protests over pay in the health service.

The strike will take place from 7am, Thursday, July 13 to 7am, Tuesday, July 18, and follows multiple previous strikes over the past year.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has said the wage for junior doctors has fallen 26 per cent in the last 15 years. The low pay has led the BMA to launch a campaign arguing that newly qualified medics can “make more serving coffee than saving patients.”

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The hospital said on Wednesday, July 13 that the hospital would be “operating a bank holiday level service.”

The hospital’s statement said: “The focus of the hospital during the days of strike action is to maintain safe and compassionate patient care. Our Accident & Emergency Department will be fully functional as will our Maternity Unit, and we will have safe staffing levels for all inpatients.

"We’re working to ensure our wards are safely staffed and that critical services are maintained.

“Please consider alternatives if you do not have a life-threatening or critical illness or injury.”

Salisbury Journal: Salisbury Hospital

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Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “It is disappointing that the BMA is going ahead with further strike action. This five-day walkout by junior doctors will have an impact on thousands of patients, put patient safety at risk and hamper efforts to cut NHS waiting lists.

“We were in discussions about pay and a range of other measures to improve the working lives of junior doctors until their representatives collapsed the negotiations by announcing further strikes. A pay demand of 35 per cent or more is unreasonable and risks fuelling inflation, which makes everyone poorer.

“Earlier this week I held a round table with doctors in training to talk about other key issues that affect them so we can work together to make the NHS a better place for all. We recently published the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan which includes measures to better support staff, improve training and double the number of medical school places by 2031.

“If the BMA shows willingness to move significantly from their current pay demands and cancels these damaging and disruptive strikes, we can get around the table to find a fair deal to resolve this dispute.”