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Junior doctors in England are set to take industrial action after talks with NHS Employers failed to reach an agreement. You can read more about the decision, the contract and next steps here.
You may have strong sympathy for junior colleagues and be anxious about how your working conditions may be affected in the future. Many of you will be keen to show your support for your colleagues and demonstrate your opposition to the contract imposition as this will be the contract that you will take up. Only those balloted are eligible to participate in industrial action; to do so as a medical student would breach trade union legislation.
Please follow the guidance provided by your medical schools and we hope that you will show support in other ways, which you can read about below.
How can you show support for your junior doctor colleagues?
The most important way to support junior doctor colleagues is show moral support and not obstruct or discourage their right to take industrial action. There are several other ways you can show your support:
Can you join picket lines?
You shouldn’t join or form any part of an official picket line, but you can visit picket lines, other commitments allowing, to speak to those picketing and provide logistical support. We would suggest that it may be more appropriate to join a local demonstration rather than a picket.
Scheduled to be in a lecture on a day of action?
The BMA would like medical faculties to explicitly permit students time off from study commitments to take part in local/national demonstrations alongside junior doctors if you wish to. This is however a decision for each medical school.
In a hospital or clinic on a day of action?
We would expect most medical schools to cancel formal clinical training sessions but some won’t. Unless advised, if you are scheduled to be on a ward/GP surgery/clinic or any other form of clinical activity you should attend as usual. You may find that you don’t have the usual support of the junior members of your team and this may have implications for your day. As per the GMC’s standards for medical education and training, you must only undertake appropriate tasks in which you are competent and with adequate supervision.
For the full guidance and information on Industrial Action for doctors in training visit the website.
If you have any further questions or comments for the BMA medical students committee, you can email [email protected]
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