Junior doctors were given a warm reception from the public as they bore the brunt of the bitterly cold weather to strike outside Ealing Hospital.
As part of a national strike on Tuesday (January 12), campaigners set up banners from 7am including "Defend the NHS", "Support Junior Doctors With A General Strike" and "Sack Hunt Danger to Southall."
In temperatures of just 4 degrees, they were joined by a number of junior doctors who work at the hospital from around 8am.
The group of around 30 protesters, who stayed on for hours, were cheered on by motorists beeping their horns and members of the public walking by, including one who said "keep up the good work guys."
The strike comes in response to proposed contract changes from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, which offers an increase in basic pay of 11%.
But junior doctors argue that their overall pay will be reduced because, they believe, the new contract does not recognise the difference between normal working hours and anti-social hours.
Junior doctors also fear they will be made to work longer hours, putting patient safety at risk.
According to London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, approximately 650 non-urgent clinic appointments and 20 non-urgent surgical procedures were postponed or rescheduled.
What did junior doctors have to say?
Felicity Lalloo, from Ealing, junior doctor in her second year at Ealing Hospital
"We are striking here today because of patient safety and for the survival of the NHS. It is not safe for patients and they are taking away the safe guarding for our hours."
Andrew Jennings, from Ealing, junior doctor in his third year at Ealing Hospital
"The strikes are the last thing we want to do but it has been forced upon us by the government. There have been no negotiations and they are not willing to compromise."
Maiva Hameed, from Ealing, junior doctor in her first year at Ealing Hospital
"I am here for doctors and for the NHS. We have been pushed to the stage because this government has not been listening to us."
"The contract proposals prioritise patient safety"
He said: "One of the most disappointing things about this dispute has been the amount of misinformation about what the Government is trying to do.
"The contract proposals prioritise patient safety and offer junior doctors safer working hours, with the majority seeing a pay rise and nobody working legal hours seeing their pay cut.
"These changes are being made to contracts after seven studies in the last five years which show increased mortality rates at the weekends. The changes to the contracts will ensure the NHS delivers high-quality care every day of the week for patients."
"I urge the BMA to resolve differences through talks – not strikes. I urge doctors not to take part in this unnecessary strike which will have a significant impact on patients."
"Grossly misrepresented offer"
But Councillor Stafford's political sparring partner, Virendra Sharma MP, who represents the Ealing Southall constituency, hit back at claims doctors were being offered a fair deal.
He backed the strike, arguing they had no choice because contract proposals "compromise patient safety."
He added: “The junior doctors’ strike is the result of Jeremy Hunt’s refusal to negotiate, not the NHS workers committed to public service.
"This government has grossly misrepresented the offer they have made to junior doctors. I hope the government will come back to the table to negotiate a fair settlement for hardworking healthcare professionals.
"Junior doctors and patients at Ealing Hospital and across the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, are suffering from a 30% shortfall in nurses, and are being told they will have to work longer hours, including weekends and night, for less money.
"This is not only disastrous for staff morale, but compromises patient safety."