BMA guidance

Consultants' guide to industrial action 2023

Our guidance for NHS consultants in England on taking industrial action to fix pay for now and for retirement

Location: England
Audience: Consultants
Updated: Thursday 5 October 2023
Topics: Pay and contracts, Pay

Our aims

Our aim in taking industrial action is to fix consultant pay now and for retirement. Find out if you can take part.

This should begin with an agreement to provide an above inflationary pay award for 2023-24. The DDRB must also be restored to its founding principles, so that it can operate free from political interference.  

We have provided every opportunity to avert industrial action. It has become apparent that, so far, they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to resolve this dispute. 

The form of consultant industrial action

The form of strike action we are asking members to take would deliver ‘Christmas Day’ levels of care. This would ensure that emergency care would continue to be provided, but elective or non-emergency work would need to be cancelled. It is likely that action would be for one or two days at a time.

We have written to trusts jointly with NHSEI to detail to detail what this industrial action will involve, what is intended by Christmas Day service and what this means for elective care and ensuring patient safety. We have also written guidance on risk considerations for carrying out elective surgery during consultant strike action.

Still have questions?

If you can't find the information you need in this guide, send us your questions here and we will add the answers to these pages.


Or contact our member relations team at [email protected] if you have a question about your personal circumstances.