Ahead of debate in the House of Lords tomorrow on Amendment 18 to the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, which would prohibit the Government from specifying minimum service levels for health services during strikes unless the Government has first established, via primary legislation, appropriate and legally enforceable staffing levels across health services for non-strike days, Professor Philip Banfield, chair of BMA council, said:
“Every single day of the year patient safety in this country is compromised as a direct result of the staffing catastrophe in the NHS. But instead of addressing this, by reversing the pay cuts and pension crisis that is driving an exodus of doctors from the NHS, the government is threatening staff and unions with heavy-handed tactics that also put their fundamental right to strike at risk.
“Until patient safety in the NHS is the government’s priority, 365 days a year, it is nothing short of shameful for the government to suggest that they only need to ensure minimum service levels in the NHS during strikes. Both Scotland and Wales have a legal requirement for services to be safely staffed – it is long past time for the government in England to legislate to ensure that the NHS is safely staffed every day.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.