The medics refused to work in all but emergency departments at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax, for 24 hours as part of a national protest organised by doctors’ union the BMA.
The industrial action led to the cancellation of 204 appointments and seven operations scheduled at the two hospitals, on Wednesday.
But local BMA members stressed they had been reluctant to strike in light of the disruption it would cause.
Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) junior doctor Henna Anwar said: “It’s the same staffing that we would have on a weekend so we know it was safe industrial action.”
Ms Anwar, who lives in Grimescar, added: “We’ve had really good public support. We’ve had people coming to the picket, beeping their horns, bringing us sweets, chocolates and hot drinks.
“It’s just a shame it’s got to that point again. I was really pleased when it was called off – but now I feel we’ve been backed into a corner.
“I feel the Government and Jeremy Hunt isn’t listening to us and is trying to say bad things about the BMA.”
The junior doctors striking at HRI and CRH joined thousands of colleagues taking part in the walk-out after negotiations between the BMA and the Government broke down.
Approximately 3,000 planned operations were cancelled nationally because of the strike which was called following an impasse on new contracts.
The contracts will change junior doctors’ ‘regular’ working hours to include weekends and nights.
And BMA members say the contract will lead to overworked doctors ultimately earning less money, even after an 11% basic pay rise proposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Hunt has refused to deny claims that he rejected a deal earlier this week which could have averted further industrial action. Commenting on today’s action, Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “With thousands of junior doctors attending more than 160 pickets and ‘meet the doctor’ events across England, today’s action is a resounding rejection of the Government’s threat to impose an unfair contract, in which junior doctors have no confidence...
“Junior doctors already work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contract. If the Government want more seven-day services then, quite simply, they need more doctors, nurses and diagnostic staff, and the extra investment needed to deliver it.
“Rather than addressing these issues, Jeremy Hunt has rejected a fair and affordable proposal put forward by the BMA and is instead ploughing ahead with proposals that could see many junior doctors voting with their feet.”