Doctors to take industrial action following strike ballot
UK doctors will not provide non-urgent care on 21 June in industrial action over the government’s planned pension changes, the British Medical Association has said.
It will be medics’ first industrial action since 1975.
BMA Council chair Hamish Meldrum today said urgent and emergency care would not be affected. He said doctors did not want to put patients at risk. Dr Meldrum said GP practices would be open but not holding routine appointments.
A ballot of 104,544 medics by the British Medical Association resulted in a turnout of more than 50 per cent with doctors voting overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action.
The BMA council will meet today to discuss the outcome of the ballot and decide on the next steps. But any industrial action in response to the ballot must take place within the next four weeks.
The ballot consisted of six separate votes for GPs, consultants, junior doctors, speciality medics, occupational medicine doctors, and public health and community doctors.
In total 52,133 doctors voted on the question of taking industrial action - a turnout of 49.8 per cent. A similar figure of 52,068 voted on the question of strike action.
The largest support for action came from junior doctors who voted by 92 per cent in favour of industrial action with a total of 12,041 votes cast. A total of 81.9 per cent of junior doctors voted in favour of strike action with 12,040 votes cast.
Consultants voted 84.2 per cent in favour of industrial action, and 73 per cent for strike action, with more than 18,600 votes cast.
GPs also supported industrial action with 78.9 per cent in favour and 63.3 per cent in favour of strike action, on more than 17,400 votes cast.
Speciality doctors voted 87 per cent in favour of action and 76 per cent in favour of a strike on more than 3,450 votes cast.
Occupational medicine doctors voted 39 per cent in favour of action and 34 per cent in favour of strike, on 41 votes cast.
Public health and community doctors voted 75 per cent in favour of action and 60 per cent in favour of strike on more than 390 votes cast.
NHS Employers director Dean Royles called on the BMA Council to consider patients as it met to debate the ballot result today.
He said: “As the BMA Council now meet I really want them to put patients at the centre of their decision making. They know that any industrial action will impact on care and cause distress and disruption to patients and undermine trust and confidence in the medical profession.
“We know that doctors are anxious about changes to their pensions. But no one wants to see patients dragged into the argument.
“Industrial action could potentially mean delays to treatment. It would be particularly distressing for patients and extremely worrying for staff who are dedicated to putting patients first.
“It’s a tough decision for the BMA Council but they should do the right thing for patients.
“If they do decide to call doctors out on strike then the more notice employers get of this the more robust our contingency plans will be.”