Health secretary Andrew Lansley’s speech at the NHS Confederation conference has been moved forward to avoid a clash with the doctors’ strike.

The British Medical Association has planned a strike – in which members are not meant to do any “non urgent” work – for Thursday. Mr Lansley was due to speak that afternoon at the conference.

The confederation yesterday confirmed the speech had been moved to Wednesday at 1.15pm.

A source close to Mr Lansley said the new timing would again give him an opportunity to “call on doctors to put patients first”, rather than striking.