APPOINTMENTS and operations will be rescheduled at Colchester Hospital due to returning industrial action, health bosses have warned.

The British Medical Association (BMA) announced junior doctors will take strike action from 7am on June 27 until 7am on July 2.

It comes as part of a long-running pay dispute between junior doctors and the Government.

Dr Martin Mansfield is deputy chief medical officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: “We have tried and tested plans in place to manage industrial action in our hospitals and community services.

“During this time our focus will be on maintaining patient safety and providing urgent and emergency services.

“This means we have to reschedule some appointments and operations. We always try and arrange new dates for those appointments as quickly as possible, and patients should continue to attend their planned appointments unless we have contacted them.”

As half of all doctors in the NHS are junior doctors, it is hospital operations and check-ups that will be worst hit, and the industrial action will affect every NHS hospital in England.

Other doctors, including consultants and specialist doctors, will still be working during the strikes.

(Image: Daniel Rees, Newsquest)

The NHS says it will work closely with unions to discuss concerns around patient safety and ensure adequate staffing through the entirety of urgent care and other services.

Dr Mansfield continued: “It’s really important our communities know they can still seek medical help if they need it during the strike action.

“The public should continue to use services in the usual way by using 999 and A&E in an emergency.

“They can also use NHS 111 online and community services like GPs and pharmacies which are open as usual for help and advice."

The latest strike action announcement comes after more than 18 months of talks between junior doctors in England and the Government, where the junior doctors wish to restore pay they say they have lost over the past 15 years.

In March, junior doctors voted to continue strike action in pursuit of a 35 per cent pay rise, after saying their pay had failed to keep pace with inflation rates.