A major period of industrial action started today (July 13) with five days of strike action by junior doctors to take place, followed by the first walk-out by consultants in more than a decade and action by radiographers at the end of the month.
The British Medical Association (BMA) announced 120 hours of continuous junior doctors’ strike action from 7am today until 7am on Tuesday 18 July. The British Dental Association (BDA), BMA and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have announced that consultant doctors and dentists will be taking strike action for 48 hours from 7am on Thursday 20 July until 7am on Saturday 22 July.
During the two days of action, both BMA and BDA have advised that consultants will provide all emergency services but planned and routine non-urgent care will be impacted.
The country is now entering the eighth month of industrial action across the NHS and staff continue to work hard to provide patients with the best possible care under the circumstances.
Previous action by junior doctors saw between 21,000-24,000 staff off per day due to industrial action.
Junior doctors in the NHS in England are taking strike action in 2023 to:
- achieve full pay restoration to reverse the steep decline in pay faced by junior doctors since 2008/9
- agree on a mechanism with the Government to prevent any future declines against the cost of living and inflation
- reform the DDRB (Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body) process so pay increases can be recommended independently and fairly to safeguard the recruitment and retention of junior doctors.
Co-chairs of the junior doctors committee Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:“Today marks the start of the longest single walkout by doctors in the NHS’s history – but this is still not a record that needs to go into the history books.
“We can call this strike off today if the UK Government will simply follow the example of the government in Scotland and drop their nonsensical precondition of not talking whilst strikes are announced and produce an offer which is credible to the doctors they are speaking with.”
They added: “The Government’s refusal to talk with junior doctors in England who have strikes planned, is out of keeping with all norms of industrial action. Doctors have a right to expect that as in Scotland, and as in many other recent industrial disputes, talks will continue right up to the last minute to try and reach a deal without the need to strike. The complete inflexibility we see from the UK Government today is baffling, frustrating, and ultimately destructive for everyone who wants waiting lists to go down and NHS staffing numbers to go up.”
People who need NHS care should continue to use services as they usually would, calling 999 or going to A&E in a life-threatening emergency and using NHS 111 online for other health concerns.
Patients should attend appointments as normal unless they have been contacted to say otherwise, and community services such as GPs and pharmacies can be used as usual.