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Junior doctors in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action, including a full walk-out.
More than 76 per cent of trainees took part in the ballot.
99.4 per cent voted ‘yes’ to the first question: 'Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?'
98 per cent voted 'yes' to the second question: 'Are you prepared to take part in industrial action including strike action?'
This gives the BMA a resounding mandate for industrial action, including a full walkout. Dates of the proposed action were announced on 12 November.
The association has also approached ACAS to offer conciliatory talks with health secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS Employers.
BMA council chair Mark Porter said: 'We regret the inevitable disruption that this will cause but it is the Government’s adamant insistence on imposing a contract that is unsafe for patients in the future, and unfair for doctors now and in the future, that has brought us to this point.
'Patients are doctors’ first priority, which is why, even with such a resounding mandate, we are keen to avert the need for industrial action, which is why we have approached ACAS to offer conciliatory talks with the health secretary and NHS Employers to clarify the conflicting information coming from government over the past weeks.'
The dates and types of action include:
Guidance at hand
Guidance for non-junior doctors in England has already been published to support GPs, hospital doctors and clinical academics who may be affected by industrial action. Further guidance will be produced for local negotiating committees.
The BMA has repeatedly stated what needs to change in the proposed contract but the Government has not supplied the assurances it has asked for.
Mr Hunt this week wrote to BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana to say that industrial action is ‘entirely avoidable’ and urges the BMA to return to negotiations.
In the letter, Mr Hunt says the Government reserves the right to make changes to contracts if there is ‘no progress on one of the issues preventing a truly seven-day NHS’.
Dr Porter said that the health secretary was right that the action was avoidable and added: 'Our message to him is that junior doctors have today made their views perfectly clear but that it is still possible to get back around the negotiating table to deliver a contract that is safe for patients, contains the necessary contractual safeguards to prevent junior doctors being overworked and properly recognises evening and weekend work.'
The industrial action only includes junior doctors in England. The Scotland and Wales Governments have said they will not impose a contract on their trainees, while, the Northern Ireland Government says it has ‘no desire’ to impose such a deal and is working with BMA representatives.
Read the FAQs
I fully support all junior doctors they always deserve batter, not less.
Can only BMA members who are in a training post vote and strike?
Hi, as a BMA member you receive legal protection during industrial action, although non-members can participate in the action. Thanks, Kelly
Both training and non-training junior doctors may strike.
As a non junior doctor and non BMA member who works part time in the NHS and part time in non NHS (speciality not funded by NHS), how can I support the junior? Are there any posters etc we could put up at work showing our support for our patients to see?
How can we get posters to support our junior docs?
Hi, you can email [email protected] to order stickers, lanyards etc to support junior doctors. We also have an action page (when we fix our website problems) where you can download posters etc at www.bma.org.uk/juniorstakeaction
I would like you all to tip your cap to GP Dr Sam Everington and his friends who managed to stop the punishing cruelty to all that was 1 in 2s - i.e. for 13 days we/I worked every day AND every other night - at £X/hour for 40 hours and only ONE QUARTER £X for the remaining (average) of 80 hours a week.. - meaning that only two SHOs did a particular job - one of you were always on call even on a GP training scheme ... for gynae, paeds, obstetrics, etc. There was a one in two for registrars - i.e. the ones who did all the emergency/on call work - for both obstetrics and gynaecology for Ealing Hospital (gynae) and Perivale Maternity (20 minutes drive if you were lucky) away. You can imagine what perilous clinical situations this created with a very junior ST 1-2 covering otherwise, and consultants not to be seen, and NEVER disturbed!! This money saving and extremely common practice stopped because one brave doctor took a Central London Health Authority to Court for Health and Safety... Indeed, I remember, one house officer in the Lister Hospital, who was about 37y old, working in Urology actually DIED on call because he was SO EXHAUSTED - in about 1984/5. I fully back what you are doing - but remember where your history comes from and give some acknowledgement to those who went before... When we complained, the consultants all said that 'They had done it, and so we should too' - Thank goodness those at the top of the tree this time round are backing the juniors.
Lets hope **NT sees sense and backs down and gets replaced by something less contentious - or dangerous... ? like a brain damaged fox with cubs?