Thousands of appointments and operations at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust have been cancelled by the trust due to NHS strike action over the last year.

It comes as the number of inpatient and outpatient appointments and operations cancelled due to strikes across England surpassed one million following the first co-ordinated strike by junior doctors and consultants in history earlier this month.

The British Medical Association said it did not want to cause further disruption to patients' care, but the strikes "are about the long-term sustainability of the NHS and ensuring there are trained doctors around to care for all patients in the future".

NHS England figures show Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has cancelled 736 appointments or operations initially scheduled between September 19 and 23 as a direct result of strike action by NHS staff.

It means the total number of treatments cancelled grew to 3,850 over the last year.

Rae Wheatcroft, Chief Operating Officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are operating in challenging times and know how difficult it is for people who are waiting for treatment.

“Our teams continue to do everything we can to minimise disruption to care as much as possible.

“Whilst elective surgery has been impacted, we have continued to prioritise and deliver clinically urgent work and cancer care, as well as our elective recovery programme to reduce how long patients wait for treatment.

“We are working hard to get people the care they need as soon as possible, but for those who are waiting for delayed medical care the NHS in Greater Manchester has valuable advice to help manage physical and mental health on its website”

Strikes have been conducted by various NHS staff members, including consultants, junior doctors, nurses, and ambulance workers.

And another joint strike by consultants and junior doctors is set to take place on October 2, 3 and 4, the BMA has announced.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: "Today marks the grim milestone of over one million appointments cancelled as a result of strikes, with co-ordinated and calculated industrial action by the BMA creating further disruption and misery for patients and NHS colleagues.

"Regrettably, the BMA is threatening to escalate strike action again next month, which would mean the number of cancellations rising further and adding to the pressures on health services as we head into winter."

Mr Barclay said medics have "received a fair and reasonable pay rise as recommended by the independent pay review bodies".

He added: "Those who started their hospital training this year are receiving a 10.3 per cent pay increase, with the average junior doctor getting 8.8 per cent and consultants are receiving a six per cent pay rise alongside generous reforms to their pensions, which was the BMA’s number one ask.

"My door is always open to discuss how we can work together with NHS staff to improve their working lives, but this pay award is final, so I urge unions to end this damaging disruption."

Professor Phil Banfield, council chairman of the BMA, said the Government has not acknowledged the "cost and value of medical care", and said it must improve the recruitment and retention of doctors.

Professor Banfield added: "The longer the Government buries its head in the sand, the more both strikes and waiting lists cost the public purse.

“It’s a no-brainer to invest in the future of the NHS workforce, rather than waste further money refusing to pitch a credible pay offer.

"Our door has been open for over a year and we hope for the sake of our patients that the Government eventually listens."

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