Guidance for clinicians during forthcoming industrial action

26 Sep 2014

The recent announcement by the BMA that it has given notice of junior doctors’ industrial action on 12 Jan, 26 Jan and 10 Feb means that, if all three dates go ahead, this will be the first time in history that an all-out strike has happened in the NHS.

Guidance

The recent announcement by the BMA that it has given notice of junior doctors’ industrial action on 12 January, 26 January and 10 February means that, if all three dates go ahead, this will be the first time in history that an all-out strike has happened in the NHS.

We have strong empathy for the junior doctors and know that no doctor would make the decision to vote in favour of industrial action lightly or easily. We recognise the depth of feeling on this issue, which has been plainly demonstrated by the high number of individuals who took part in the ballot last year, and the overwhelming result.

We have been clear to the Government that they would be wrong to try and impose a contractual settlement on junior doctors and have continued to call for a return to negotiations. We continue to believe that industrial action would be damaging to all those concerned and hope that ongoing engagement will end the current impasse.

While negotiations continue, we must assume industrial action will take place which is the right of every junior doctor. Clearly as clinicians our professional duty to the patient remains to ensure their safety and care is maintained during any action. Below is a summary of guidance that we hope our members will find helpful in advance of industrial action next week.

National advice

All doctors have already directly received advice from the General Medical Council (GMC) in respect of their professional duties. This can be found on the GMC website. The British Medical Association (BMA) has also produced guidance for hospital doctors not involved in industrial action which can be found here.

Local advice

Consultant teams have a joint responsibility with their employers to ensure patient safety during industrial action. This means employers should be working with consultant teams to ensure there is 24/7 emergency cover for each service and adequate cover for hospital inpatients. This may require the rescheduling of non-urgent elective operations and out-patient clinics, with priority given to patients requiring urgent surgery or appointments (such as those on cancer pathways).

Consultants, SAS doctors and other allied health professionals should perform the tasks normally allocated to junior doctors during this period, with a priority on urgent and emergency tasks. Clear guidance should be given to nursing and other staff relating to accessing medical/surgical opinion during the dispute.

If you have concerns that your Trust is insufficiently prepared to cope with industrial action then these should be aired locally as soon as possible.

Advice and support

If there is anything further we can do to help support or advise local clinicians then please let us know. However, we very much hope that the involvement of ACAS will lead to a resolution of the current situation.

Professor David Galloway President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Miss Clare Marx President,The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Mr Mike Lavelle-Jones President, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Back to all news


Share this story:

Latest news and statements

Key priority areas

Workforce Recovery and Transformation
Health services in many parts of the world are over-stretched due to workforce shortages, rising demand for services and difficulties in retaining staff.
Read more
Wellbeing
A healthy healthcare workforce is essential for patient care. When the workforce is exhausted, experiencing burnout, and struggling to balance their work and personal lives, it impacts on everyone.
Read more
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to standing up for equality, diversity and inclusion. We want our College to reflect the diversity in the NHS workforce and in the patients that we care for.
Read more
Climate Change and Sustainability
Climate change has caused great harm to our planet and warnings of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding will all place a significant burden on our health outcomes.
Read more
Health Inequalities
The health inequalities in our society have been both highlighted and exacerbated by the covid pandemic. There is a need to do things differently.
Read more
COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of healthcare professionals, and the urgent need to learn whilemfocusing on delivering the best care for our patients has been an enormous challenge.
Read more

Topics


Archive


Key links



Contact us

rcpsg@grayling.com
07714307976

Log in

Log in to access your Dashboard, book events, pay your subscriptions and access eLearning material.

Log in

Register an account

New users must register before logging in. You do not need to be a member of the College in order to register.

Register

Help

Having difficulty registering or logging in? Forgotten your username or password?

Get Help