Responding to the announcement from the Royal College of Nursing that its members have voted for industrial action in Scotland, Simon Barker, deputy chair of BMA Scotland, said:
“Doctors in Scotland offer our support and solidarity to nursing colleagues who have sadly had to resort to industrial action. Alongside doctors and other health and care staff, nurses have carried the load of an understaffed and seriously under-resourced health service here in Scotland for many years. The system is buckling under the current pressures. Staff are exhausted and burnt out, and feel more and more often they are unable to provide patients with the quality care they need and deserve. Morale among just about all NHS staff has never been lower and the feeling of being undervalued by government is now overwhelming.
“Listening is not enough – we need the Scottish government to act on what we, as those delivering healthcare on a daily basis, are saying about working conditions in our NHS, and how desperate things are. I implore the health secretary to urgently respond to the concerns of health staff and deliver the investment that the NHS and its workforce so desperately needs.
“BMA Scotland will continue to support doctors who face impossibly difficult circumstances through the chronic neglect of the health service, across a whole range of issues, including our own fight for better pay and with guidance on how best they can support nursing staff and other NHS colleagues in dispute.”
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.