Junior doctors will initiate a four-day walkout starting from tomorrow morning amid the bitter dispute with the Government over pay.

Junior doctors from St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and affiliated with the British Medical Association (BMA) will join their colleagues across the nation in the strike, which will last from 7am on Friday, August 11 to 7am on Tuesday, August 15.

In a fresh wave of industrial action on the horizon, the number of postponed appointments is predicted to rise further.

The previous round of strikes, which saw consultants participating as well, resulted in the rescheduling of 10,051 appointments, procedures, and operations.

This was necessary to ensure that emergency care could be prioritized during the industrial action.

Patients who have had appointments rescheduled will be contacted directly.

Earlier this summer, the hospital group experienced an unprecedented demand for its services, with its emergency departments witnessing the busiest day ever recorded and an unusually busy June.

Dr Beccy Suckling, Chief Medical Officer for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Earlier this summer it was very busy, and more recently we saw an increase in very unwell people coming to hospital. This, as you would expect, has put a strain on our services.

“We always prioritise our sickest and most seriously ill patients – and that means that those coming to our emergency departments when it is not as urgent will experience longer waits, and may be redirected elsewhere. Please help us when it is not an emergency by using NHS 111 online first.”

Dr Luci Etheridge, Chief Medical Officer for St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our message remains the same as it always has: if you need care, please continue to come forward. That means if you have an appointment and you haven’t heard from us you should still comein, and if it’s life-threatening you should visit an emergency department or call 999.

“But if you have an appointment and you can no longer make it, please let us know so our frontline doctors and nurses can use their time more effectively to treat other patients and work to reduce our waiting lists.”

In light of the current situation, it is crucial that patients attend their scheduled appointments, unless explicitly advised otherwise.

NHS 111 online is recommended as the first point of contact for non-emergency health concerns, as it will guide individuals to the most appropriate place for seeking help for their symptoms.

Pharmacies can also provide advice and over-the-counter medications for minor ailments like coughs, colds, sore throats, and aches and pains.

For life-threatening emergencies, it is essential to call 999 or head to an emergency department.

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, said: “We are now at the stage where a whole new cohort of junior doctors is entering the profession, only to be immediately given no choice by the Government but to go on strike for their future.

“The Government should be ashamed that this is the state of the profession they are presenting to our newest doctors.

“If they want a health service that retains this talent for decades to come, they need to come to the table – not in weeks, not in months, but today. This dispute should never have gone on so long.”