NHS Employers has called for employees to be in full possession of the facts on pension reforms before deciding to take industrial action.

The call came as the BMA decided to ballot doctors on industrial action for the first time in 40 years. Any action will fall short of striking. 

NHS Employers director Dean Royles urged trade unions not to take steps which would damage patient care.

“The government will soon release full, final details of the pension proposals and it is essential that staff have time to consider the proposals, the costs and benefits and the implications of rejection,” he said. “It is vital that they make fully-informed decisions.

“Employers will do they all they can to ensure staff have access to balanced, accurate information.”

Chairman of BMA Council Hamish Meldrum said: “The decision to ballot for the first time in 40 years has not been taken lightly. Doctors and medical students have overwhelmingly rejected the current offer, and we’ve pursued every avenue we possibly could to bring the government back to meaningful talks.

“With no signs of movement, we simply cannot ignore this strength of feeling by medical staff.”