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Elective appointments at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn face cancellation after start of four-day junior doctor strikes

Patients have been left facing hospital cancellations as junior doctors begin four days of strike action.

Staff at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been left with no choice but to cancel some elective care procedures, which involve non-emergency surgeries.

This comes after junior doctors across the country started a 96-hour walk-out yesterday (Tuesday) at 7am as they bid for a 35% pay rise.

Some elective procedures will be cancelled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital due to junior doctor strikes
Some elective procedures will be cancelled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital due to junior doctor strikes

Patients facing immediate concerns, cancer surgery and trauma are among those being prioritised at the QEH, with strikes planned to end at 7am this Saturday.

Helen Blanchard, the interim chief nurse at the hospital, said: "Our highest priority is to continue to provide safe and high-quality care for our patients and avoid disruption to our services where at all possible.

"We will prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.

"Unfortunately some elective care will be cancelled as a result of this, however we will only cancel appointments and procedures where it is necessary and will reschedule immediately, where possible.

"Patients should continue to attend appointments as planned unless contacted to reschedule, and nobody should put off seeking urgent or emergency care."

Across the UK, an estimated 350,000 appointments and operations have already been rescheduled as nearly 50,000 junior doctors take industrial action.

The QEH could not confirm how many appointments it will have to move, or how many of its staff are taking part in strikes.

Rob Laurenson, the leader of the junior doctors' union, has faced criticism for going on a week-long holiday just as the striking begins.

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