Marking the start of the 96-hour junior doctor strikes, David Hare, Chief Executive of Independent Healthcare Providers Network said: “The next few days could be the most challenging so far in terms of managing the impact of strikes on the health service.
“At this point we expect that most NHS and private treatment in the independent sector will continue as planned during strike days.
“However, independent providers will continue to monitor the situation to understand the impact of strikes as they become clear.
“In the short term, our members will ensure the number one priority is patient safety. There is a commitment from providers to avoid disruption to patient care wherever possible, and avoid rescheduling or cancelling wherever possible, but safety and quality of care will not be compromised.
“Independent providers will support consultants as they make individual, clinically-led, decisions locally.
“More widely, there are clearly significant concerns that there will be hundreds of thousands of patients awaiting planned care whose appointments and operations will again be delayed or cancelled.
“We hope that both the government and the union can find a way to quickly resolve this dispute, given the increasing impact on patients.”