Junior doctors get set for six consecutive days of strike action

Industrial action

Junior doctors will walk out for the longest consecutive strike action in NHS history from Wednesday (January 3) at 7am, until 7am on Tuesday, January 9.

The British Medical Association says that while workload and waiting lists are at record highs, junior doctors’ pay has been cut by more than a quarter since 2008.

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs, said: “It’s regrettable that at our mutually agreed deadline during talks, the Government’s offer on the table would have still resulted in a real-terms pay cut for doctors this year.

“This led to our committee unanimously voting for further strike action. It is a shame the Government could have avoided the unnecessary disruption to patients if they had presented a credible offer, especially if there was, as suggested by the Secretary of State, another offer for them to make.

“It didn’t need to be this way, and next week’s action can be avoided. The Health Secretary says she wants to ‘get this done’ and appeals to us to return to negotiations, yet we never walked away. It is her government that refuses to talk to us while strikes are scheduled.

“However this is an inconsistent approach as the same Government engaged in talks with barristers during their strike action. We are clear that we will talk at any time, right up to the 11th hour, and if talks result in a credible offer we can put to members, then further strikes can be averted.”

The NHS will prioritise urgent and emergency care as consultants step in to cover for junior doctors, who make up 50% of the medical workforce.

People should continue to use services as they normally would when they need urgent medical help – using 999 and A&E in life threatening emergencies and using 111 online for other health concerns. GPs and pharmacies can be used by the public for health advice and appointments as normal.

Junior doctors in the NHS in England say they are taking strike action 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.

24 Comments

      • You need to look at the reasons why the NHS was started in the first place to realise why they have no interest in funding it properly now. It was started when Britain was on a huge rise and needed fit workers to work in all the factories etc. It was a great investment and paid to keep the population healthy. Now they don’t need a healthy fit population. Especially with AI round the corner, so there is no longer a want to fund it the way it needs to be funding and the funding that is there is being badly managed

  1. I think it is 35%.
    This does not need to happen.If the Government negotiated and facilitated, instead of prevaricated it might get some where.
    It does a sweet heart deal with the consultants over pay and pensions,and then wonders why junior doctors and nurses feel unappreciated.
    There is a lot that can be done over conditions of service and training that would help to pave the way for a long term deal, but instead the government prefers confrontation and disrespect.

  2. I hope no one needlessly dies ,because of their actions.Some years ago the Firemen ,who went on strike some people or person died ,because of the strike and they immediately called it off.Can I see these doctors doing that , I doubt it.Wether they deserve the pay rise they ask for is another thing,every person has lost out on pay ,over the years,most get on with it

    • I hope so, too.
      But who can blame the doctors? As it says in the piece: “junior doctors’ pay has been cut by more than a quarter since 2008”
      In other words, doctors’ would need a pay increase of more than 25%, just to bring them back into line.
      It’s the government that must take the blame. It is they that have failed, year on year, to give the doctors cost-of-living rises.

  3. I think pensioners who have received an increase every year in the last 14 years, ought stop expecting others to tighten their belts.
    As I said negotiation not confrontation is the best way forward.

  4. I don’t blame the doctors one bit I blame the conservatives because they have robbed us all over the years with their give to the rich and screw the rest. MPs are paid The basic annual salary of a Member Of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons is £86,584, as of April 2023. In addition, MPs are able to claim allowances to cover the costs of running an office and employing staff, and maintaining a constituency residence or a residence in London. Hospital doctors are treated like slaves they should be given back what has been stolen from them. The government austerity is just another name for theft of public workers lawful income.

  5. The Government say there is no money to pay Junior Doctors a decent living wage, of course there is no money, it was given to friends of ministers for contracts of PPE that were unfit for use Where is the money that should be paid back as what was done was fraud. There would be enough money for our NHS if this was paid back

  6. Whilst the junior doctors are on the six day strike , will they still get paid ? If not they are losing hundreds of pounds in wages , I’m just curious!

    • When people go on strike, they don’t get paid.
      Some unions have hardship funds, to support their members during industrial action

  7. Have junior doctors had a pay cut by more than a quarter, or has their annual pay rise been less than inflation, like the majority of us?

    • Yes.
      As it says in the piece, junior doctors would need a 25% pay rise just to bring them back to the level they were at a dozen years ago.

  8. In 2008/2009, were newly qualified junior doctors starting pay on more than £14/per hour, if so they have had a pay cut, if not then they haven’t, just wages haven’t kept up with inflation, as per my previous comment.

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