Senior physicians are planning to go on strike for the first time in ten years.

The first significant strike by top doctors in England in nearly 50 years will cause significant disruption to the NHS during the next 48 hours.

From 7am on Thursday to 7am on Saturday, consultant doctors and hospital-based dentists will walk out in protest of their salary.

Following junior physicians’ five-day strike last Thursday through Tuesday, it was the longest stretch of industrial action in the history of the NHS.

The most difficult strike in the history of the service, with “routine care virtually at a standstill,” was predicted by the medical director of the NHS.

With consultants only providing emergency coverage, Professor Sir Stephen Powis foresaw widespread disruption throughout the NHS.

Senior consultants last took significant long-term action on their contracts in 1975, with the exception of a minor disagreement over pensions in 2012.

Senior physicians who treat patients as well as supervise less experienced medical professionals and other staff members are known as consultants.

Patients have been informed that a “significant amount” of planned care involving junior doctors will be impacted because other clinicians are unable to fill shifts or assume supervision responsibilities.

According to the British Medical Association, consultants will only offer “Christmas Day cover,” or an emergency care level of service.

In a statement, NHS England noted that “staff continue to work hard to give patients the best care they can get given the circumstances as we enter the eighth month of industrial action throughout the NHS.

Over 365,000 worker absences as a result of industrial action during this time have affected about 600,000 hospital appointments across the NHS.

According to the NHS, consumers should utilise NHS111 online to be evaluated and guided to the appropriate care.

The 111 helpline is accessible if you do not have internet access.

When someone’s life is in danger due to a major illness or injury, you should phone 999 to get emergency help.

According to the NHS website, it is crucial that patients who require immediate medical attention continue to come forward as usual, particularly in emergency and life-threatening situations. This is true regardless of any strike action that may be taking place.

Patients should consult with 111/999 call-handlers for guidance on when it might be suitable for them to go to the hospital on their own.

“On strike days, it is likely that call handlers for 999 and 111 will be very busy, which could result in longer call response times.”

Pharmacy operations and GP services will be unaffected.

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