HUNDREDS of appointments at the Dudley Group hospital trust were rescheduled as a result of the junior doctor strike last week, new figures show.

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 England figures show 606 appointments at The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust were rescheduled as a result of the strikes – of them, 104 were inpatient procedures, while 502 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 Vivek Trivedi and 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.”

Mr Barclay said: "It’s deeply disappointing that hundreds of thousands of 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 per cent pay increase – which would result in some junior doctors receiving a pay rise of £20,000.”

NHS national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: "While our staff are doing all they possibly can to manage the disruption, it is becoming increasingly difficult and the impact on patients and staff will unfortunately continue to worsen."

Dudley Group CEO Diane Wake said of the situation: “During the recent industrial action we were focused on protecting urgent and emergency services and as a result a number of appointments and operations across the Black Country needed to be rescheduled.

“We'd like to say a huge thank to all of our hard-working staff and volunteers who have kept patients safe during this busy period. We'd also like to thank patients who have had their appointments rescheduled for their understanding and the public for their help in using NHS services appropriately.

“We know it will be disappointing for patients who have had their appointments rescheduled and we will rearrange the appointments as quickly as possible.”