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Significant disruption expected but urgent care to continue during second junior doctors strike

Disgwylir tarfu sylweddol ond bydd gofal brys yn parhau yn ystod ail streic meddygon iau

Urgent and life-threatening care will continue to be provided during second junior doctors strike in Wales this week, but significant disruption is expected to other services.

The head of NHS Wales, Judith Paget, has also urged everyone to help reduce the burden on the NHS by considering other options to attending hospital, unless they need urgent care.

Ahead of the industrial action which starts on Wednesday, Health Minister Eluned Morgan has said the Welsh Government are always open to further talks but they don’t have the budget available to increase the pay deal.

Eluned Morgan said: “We are disappointed that junior doctors have decided to take further industrial action in Wales, but we understand their strength of feeling about our 5% pay offer.

“Our offer is at the limits of the finances available to us and reflects the position reached with the other health unions. But we will continue to press the UK Government to pass on the funding necessary for full and fair pay rises for public sector workers.

“We remain committed to working in social partnership with the British Medical Association and are always open to have more talks.”

NHS Wales Chief Executive Judith Paget said: “As during the last strike we welcome the collaborative approach on patient safety taken by the British Medical Association. We have been working with them and NHS organisations to ensure patient safety is protected during the industrial action.

“We expect significant disruption to non-emergency and elective activities during the industrial action, with much work already been postponed. During the last strike around 41% of outpatient appointments and 61% of operations were postponed across Wales. We expected services during the industrial action to resemble those generally provided on a Bank Holiday.

“However, if you have a critical need to attend an emergency department you should still do so.

“But we are also urging everyone to consider the best option for them, including 111 online or phone service, or their local pharmacy.”