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Junior doctors to strike after 98% vote in favour

Junior doctors to strike after 98% vote in favour

Junior doctors in England have voted in favour of strike action and will now prepare for a 72-hour walkout next month.

The vote saw a record turnout of 77%, with 98% voting in favour of strikes. Junior doctors will now walk out for 72 hours during March.

More than 47,600 junior doctors were eligible to vote in the BMA’s ballot last month, with almost 37,000 votes cast.

The BMA said that this was the largest ever turnout for a ballot of doctors by the association and a record number of junior doctors voting for strike action.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said: ‘This vote shows, without a shadow of a doubt, the strength of feeling among most of England’s junior doctors.

‘We are frustrated, in despair and angry and we have voted in our thousands to say, “in the name of our profession, our patients, and our NHS, doctors won’t take it anymore.”

‘The Government has only itself to blame, standing by in silent indifference as our members are forced to take this difficult decision.

‘We have had a real-terms pay cut of more than 26 % since 2008. This year we were offered an insulting 2% pay, which means with inflation at over 10%, we are working more than a month for free.

‘Added to that, ever-worsening conditions mean more doctors are being lured away from the NHS to seek better paid medical careers and quality of life elsewhere.

‘There is no doubt that this is a crisis, but it is of the Government’s making – so far refusing to have any meaningful discussions with us about pay. The road to recovery must start with Ministers listening to us and paying us what we’re worth.’

Health secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘We hugely value the work of junior doctors and it is deeply disappointing some union members have voted for strike action.

‘As part of a multi-year deal we agreed with the BMA, junior doctors pay has increased by a cumulative 8.2% since 2019/20. We also introduced a higher pay band for the most experienced staff and increased rates for night shifts.

‘I’ve met with the BMA and other medical unions to discuss what is fair and affordable, as well as wider concerns around conditions and workload. I want to continue discussing how we can make the make the NHS a better place to work for all.’

A spokesperson from the Doctors’ Association said: ‘We urge the government and relevant pay bodies to commit to full pay restoration for junior doctors.

‘We maintain that this is paramount for the financial security of junior doctors as well as the long-term viability and effectiveness of the NHS as a whole.

‘We recognise that junior doctors are vital to the NHS and that sub-inflationary pay rises are unforgivable.

‘The failure to address this is having an adverse effect on the general morale of doctors and their livelihoods. Continued inaction on this issue is preventing their retention and is not sustainable.’

The ballot results are as follows:

  • Number entitled to vote: 47,692
  • Number of votes cast in the ballot: 36,955 (votes cast in the ballot as a percentage of individuals who were entitled to vote: 77.49%)
  • Number of YES votes: 36,218 (98.06%)
  • Number of NO votes: 716 (1.94%)
  • Number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers returned: 21



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Graham Moyse 20 February, 2023 4:49 pm

Whilst I understand the frustration of junior doctors, this is a “something must be done” knee jerk reaction without thinking it through. The government have shown that they are not going to back down. They can’t, they have no money. Meanwhile the public will have much less sympathy with “rich” doctors than with “poorly paid” nurses. Best to bide their time and battle hard for 23-24 pay. There might be some money in government coffers by then.

Michael Green 20 February, 2023 4:52 pm

Coordinate with the nurses and bring this scummy government to its knees.

Dr N 20 February, 2023 5:01 pm

Steve Barclay said……deeply disappointing some union members have voted for strike action
Since when was 37000 ‘some’?

Anonymous 20 February, 2023 6:58 pm

All in.

Three consecutive days with a weekend means five days of no movement in hospitals.

Consultants can make decisions, but are largely unaware of how to write a discharge letter or clerk patients in.

There will be some contingency plans in place and ED will surely operate on full consultant staffing, but general medical wards will be crippled.

Hopefully patients will realise what government they elected.

And yes, there is a lot of money in this debt crippled economy. Just borrow some more like they did for useless PPE.

Mark Howson 20 February, 2023 11:15 pm

Graham Moyse I think the Junior Doctors are
Past caring if the public don’t like them striking. They have had enough and this is between them and their employer. If it goes badly many will just up and leave. The public have brought it on themselves by voting for Tories. The Tories meanwhile are realising that by running down the NHS they have screwed the economy- first because a population with poor health has increased the number of people who are economical inactive and secondly because the NHS is the biggest contributor to the GDP through its economic activity- purely due to its size.

Dave Haddock 21 February, 2023 6:57 am

Evil Tories, trying to kill off the NHS by drowning it in borrowed money.

Dave Haddock 21 February, 2023 8:30 am

I’m enjoying the irony of the BMA “save the NHS” zealots busy hastening it’s demise.

Cameron Wilson 21 February, 2023 9:25 am

Striking for a few extra crumbs! Waste of time when the big picture is ignored. As a taxpayer, the NHS is a bottomless pit and serious reform is required, junior doctors will in turn be appropriately appreciated by default. Am afraid, reality dictates that whatever we think healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Plan B has to be addressed and it would be a lot better for patients and staff if designed by us rather than ones imposed by Big Business!! Rant over!!

David Turner 21 February, 2023 11:53 am

I fully support the junior doctors going on strike.
Whether or not it makes any difference the government need to understand how deeply unpopular and incompetent they really are.
And yes, if the public complain, the ones who voted for these greedy, self-serving zealots only have themselves to blame if they don’t like the way the NHS is heading.

A Non 21 February, 2023 6:34 pm

Blame politicians if you like but they’re voted in by the public and its the public who expect a level of healthcare they aren’t willing to pay for. Its a national delusion. You simply can’t have what you don’t pay for. Your man and woman on the street need to take this on board and start letting politicians speak truth. As it is you simply cant get elected unless you perpetuate the’re entitled to anything you want and its ‘free’ …bullshit