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Junior doctors' strike & elective c-sections

(42 Posts)
Cinnamon2013 Tue 05-Jan-16 07:47:01

I fully support the junior doctors' strike. I believe Jeremy Hunt really has given them no other option.

But... on a personal level - does anyone in the medical world know if the planned strike/any further strikes is likely to affect elective caesarean dates (and/or childbirth safety outcomes in general). I'm hoping no to the latter. Don't mind the date moving for this reason just want to prepare myself a bit for if it does.

Good luck to all doctors and healthcare professionals with getting a fairer deal.

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Penfold007 Tue 05-Jan-16 07:48:57

Realistically the strike will affect all elective surgery.

honeysucklejasmine Tue 05-Jan-16 07:49:23

I think last time they said some elective surgeries (including c section) may be rescheduled.

There will be no impact on childbirth by other options though. EMCS will still happen, and midwives are not involved in the strike.

scaevola Tue 05-Jan-16 08:00:07

For the first two strike dates (24 hours 12/1, 48hrs 26/1) there will be emergency cover, so EMCS will be covered. Electives performed by the consultant in person should also be OK. Other electives will have to be bunched the days before or afterwards. (But as there is a case that childbirth is not something that can be entirely rescheduled, it is just possible that all maternity services will be classes as emergency or that additional consultants be brought in to cover CS that would otherwise have been performed by registrars).

The third strike 10/2 is shorter, but all out. As that's over a month away, there should be time to reschedule electives.

Cinnamon2013 Tue 05-Jan-16 08:57:20

Thanks all for you helpful replies. In particular Scaevola for the future dates, I would be in Feb on that day.

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Cinnamon2013 Tue 05-Jan-16 09:03:31

scaevola - can I ask what you mean by 'all out'?

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Metalhead Tue 05-Jan-16 09:10:38

My ELCS in December was the day after the first initial strike date, and I was told by the hospital at the time that elective CS would not be affected by it. Might be worth calling your hospital midwifery office to check.

Moreisnnogedag Tue 05-Jan-16 09:55:50

'All out' means no junior doctor who's striking will be working, whether on call or not. So on the first two dates if a doctor was scheduled to be on call they'll still do that - So I'll review emergency cases and take those patients to theatre but won't do clinic or elective theatre work. However on the last day it'll just be consultants and staff grade middle grades working.

Cinnamon2013 Tue 05-Jan-16 10:53:54

Thanks both. I will ask at next midwife appointment.

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Icklepickle101 Tue 05-Jan-16 11:05:07

Does anyone know if/when we would be told if our elcs is affected? I'm scheduled for the 27th!!

Elephantslovetofly Tue 05-Jan-16 12:17:40

Anyone with a booked elective section on a strike day should phone the hospital and find out what will happen, see if it can be moved to a non-strike day. The earlier you do this the easier it will be to reschedule. Don't leave it until the day before or assume they will contact you in good time. A section is usually performed by two 'junior' doctors (not consultants) so unless the hospital finds two consultants to cover the list on each strike day the elective ones just won't happen. If there are only consultants around they will be there to cover the emergency work only (and in obstetrics there is quite a lot of 'emergency' work on any given day - all instrumental deliveries and complications are handled by doctors and not midwives). Even on the first two strikes, I doubt they will do elective sections as the level of cover will not be enough. They won't want to do elective surgery when there might be emergencies for those same doctors to deal with
Of course, the strike might get cancelled again, but if it was me I'd be trying to change the date ASAP!!

turkeysandwishes Tue 05-Jan-16 14:31:36

I rang my hospital earlier on and asked what was happening as I'm due my elcs on Tuesday (for breech) and she assured me it is still going ahead, so I think it's worth calling your hospital and asking the question.

Morgan6653 Tue 05-Jan-16 18:28:31

Does anyone know does this effect Scotland?

DinoSnores Tue 05-Jan-16 19:01:30

No, the Scottish government (along with the Welsh and the Northern Irish) have said they won't impose the new contract, so these strikes are just happening in England.

At the bottom, there is a section:

Junior doctors in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

madsaz76 Tue 05-Jan-16 20:22:20

I'm due round about the last date but as a doctor absolutely up for the strike (slightly disappointed I wont be showing up at work with cake to show my support but SPD says no)

I guess for the first 2 dates it's going to depend on local arrangements. Obs and Gynae has high levels of senior cover so I am absolutely confident if there is an emergency I will be well looked after. Elective sections may have to shift a day either way.

The advice to contact your unit is the correct one. The first strike will definitely happen i think, and I doubt the last 2 will get cancelled after all thats been said and done....

toohardtothinkofaname Tue 05-Jan-16 22:25:18

Does anyone know if it'll affect inductions because working staff might be busier with more urgent cases? Booked in for 9pm on the 12th.

CrystalSkull Tue 05-Jan-16 23:02:24

My understanding is that an elective CS is not really elective in terms of the date, since the 'ideal' window for performing it is quite narrow (and if someone scheduled for a CS goes into labour she will need an immediate CS anyway). Therefore, I imagine it should go ahead as scheduled.

Cinnamon2013 Wed 06-Jan-16 10:58:16


My concerns are a) that my c-section will be delayed and I'll go into labour. After my last slightly traumatic birth this is something I'm anxious about

b) it'll be done but in rushed circumstances where staff are trying to play catch-up on rescheduled operations. Also that someone under-qualified or overworked could be required to do the op.

These are just my personal concerns and fuelled I'm sure by general pregnancy anxiety. But if anyone has any info/could direct me to the right sources I'd really appreciate it,

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DinoSnores Wed 06-Jan-16 12:38:25

Have you contacted your own department to ask them? No one can answer for a particular hospital's arrangements here.

If you do go into labour and have an elective section booked, you would then become an emergency section and be sorted. This is something that happens relatively frequently so wouldn't be an issue for the hospital.

There are very, very good contingency plans in place at each hospital, with almost all the consultants in (so no annual/study leave if possible), so no one is going to be "under-qualified" and hopefully everyone will have planned for plenty of staff around so won't be overworked.

In the wider sense, I do appreciate the immediate concerns but if the contract goes through, then you, me (I am a doctor but I also spend a lot of my time as a patient) and others are far more at risk of being treated by an exhausted, overworked doctor.

Hope that is somewhat reassuring!

wonkylegs Wed 06-Jan-16 12:56:20

I would also like to echo there won't be anybody 'under qualified' as most hospitals will actually have more senior staff in than usual to cover the strike.
The strikes are being planned so that do not risk life but will (as is the nature of strikes) cause inconvienece. Drs don't want to strike but they have been forced into this action and if they let this contract go through as it stands it poses a far bigger risk to health in the future. I know this isn't comforting when you are imminently facing something which is worrying anyway but there are very good reasons for this action and it has been planned to be as safe as possible.

Cinnamon2013 Wed 06-Jan-16 13:33:27

Thanks Dino and Wonky. I just got through to someone at my chosen hospital who was able to reassure me. I appreciate your answers though, thanks for replying.

I could not support the strike more. I know how awful the new contract is. I completely understand that no doctor would choose to strike unless it was a last resort. I really hope this stalemate can be ended with Jeremy Hunt exposed as the liar he is.

I wish I was posting about the strike for better reasons than these self-involved ones. My last birth was hard and I came close to losing my baby. It was a matter of minutes, I was in the right place at the right time. which is why timing is on my mind now.

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DinoSnores Wed 06-Jan-16 13:40:36

Glad that you are feeling a bit more reassured. Hope it all goes well on the day and that things go much more smoothly this time. flowers

wonkylegs Wed 06-Jan-16 14:31:06

Glad to hear you got some reassurance. I'm pregnant at the moment too and high risk so do understand the worry, hope that this time everything is easier for you.

Cinnamon2013 Wed 06-Jan-16 14:49:19

Thank you. Hope everythng goes really well for you, too, Wonky. This is ridiculously anecdotal but you know what all the high risk pregnancies I know of ended up being very smooth births

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laulea82 Wed 06-Jan-16 15:13:01

I have a ELCS booked for Tuesday 12th - the first day of the strikes. I above spoken to the hospital who have said they are yet to decide what to do about ELCS and suggested I ring back Friday! Cutting it a bit fine!

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