Health

Devastated, disappointed and in pain - would you support the strike?

A theatre nurse and a surgeon holding a scalpel perform an operation

Patients who have had appointments cancelled the week of the all-out junior doctors' strike have told the BBC why they support or oppose the walkouts.

The latest strike on Tuesday and Wednesday will affect emergency care for the first time.

More than 100,000 outpatient appointments and planned operations are set to be delayed because of the action, NHS England says, while essential care is being provided by consultants and other senior staff during the strike.


Wendy Ginsing: 'My daughter's tumour has gone into overdrive'

My beautiful and previously vibrant 21-year-old daughter has a tumour in the pituitary gland in her brain.

This has caused her to develop Cushing's disease, which has had devastating effects on her body - she is exhausted, her skin is breaking down and scarring, her hair is falling out, her muscles are weak and she is at risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.

Image copyright Hannah Ginsing
Image caption Wendy Ginsing's daughter Hannah has had an appointment for tumour treatment cancelled

She was diagnosed in early November and originally promised surgery to remove the tumour before Christmas but had to wait, which was very frustrating as her health continued to deteriorate and the increasing number of scars all over her body will be with her for life.

She was finally given a planned date for surgery last month and was due to be admitted to King's College Hospital [on Tuesday].

Despite reassurances that everything would go ahead, as her surgery is now urgent because the tumour has gone into overdrive, she has now been called to say that this is cancelled and they have no idea about when this will be rebooked.

Understandably, Hannah is devastated and very annoyed about this.

We all support the fight of the junior doctors to have safe working patterns and cannot understand why [Health secretary] Jeremy Hunt will not realise that you cannot work 12 days in a row and still make sensible life-and-death decisions.

I am an advanced nurse practitioner, and, over my 38 years in nursing, I have seen how dangerous sleep deprivation in doctors can be.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Junior doctors are striking from 08:00 to 17:00 BST on Tuesday and Wednesday

Barry Edwards: 'Losing public support'

Following open heart surgery, I was due to have a further follow-up appointment and scan with my consultant on Wednesday.

This has now been rearranged.

I am left in a situation of not knowing if my medication is appropriate, if I am on the mend and recovering as I should.

I am unsure if I can return to work as normal, and I cannot go on holiday abroad until allowed to do so.

Whilst I am totally supportive of the hospital and staff who have "repaired" me, and forever grateful, I do not support the strike and believe the BMA [British Medical Association] are amateurish in their dealing with the government.

They do not understand that in negotiations neither side gets what it wants.

They are losing public support and, indeed, for me, have lost the fight.

It is all about wages and nothing else.

Junior doctors are no longer held in great esteem, just another group whinging about their lot.

I would support them more if they did not strike and pursued their cause in a different way - but, for me, they have blown it.


Find out the latest on the all-out strike

What patients need to know

The dispute explained

Will services actually be safer during the walkouts?


Karen Smith: 'Waiting for months'

I was due to have a spinal block procedure on Thursday.

I have been waiting months for it and am in pain all the time.

The procedure was meant to help ease the pain.

So, when I received the letter saying it was postponed, it almost reduced me to tears.

I am frustrated and desperately disappointed.

I had been counting down the days ahead of it, and now I have no idea when I will get it.

It said in the letter that it was "due to unforeseen circumstances" and they will contact me again.

I support the junior doctors' right to strike, but it's just disappointing that I won't have this done now.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The walkouts affect emergency care for the first time in NHS history

John Butt: 'A lot of damage'

Last time I had a pre-op for prostate, the junior doctors went on strike.

I saw men crying because their operations were being cancelled.

This time, they didn't tell me it had been cancelled because of the strikes - but I am putting two and two together.

Junior doctors do not seem to care about what they are doing to the NHS.

They are doing a lot of damage.

Time is important for me.

I am on hormone treatment, so my cancer should be kept steady.

My sister was a matron.

She would never have tolerated this.

You don't walk out of the NHS.

We feel they do not particularly care.

It is more about politics than health.

It is OK to have a go at Jeremy Hunt, but they have to put the patients first.

There have to be alternatives to going on strike.

Compiled by Michael Ertl and Stephen Fottrell

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