This site is intended for health professionals only

BMA tells GP trainees ‘not to go into practice at all’ on strike days 

BMA tells GP trainees ‘not to go into practice at all’ on strike days 

The BMA has advised GP trainees to ‘not attend their practice at all’ during the upcoming junior doctors’ strikes.

The next walk out will take place for five days starting at 7am on Thursday 13 July, in a move that is thought to be the longest period of industrial action seen in the NHS.

The doctors’ union issued new guidance for GP trainees as it said it is ‘essential that this significant cohort demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst the profession by participating fully in this industrial action’.

The guidance said: ‘If you are a GP trainee with an NHS employer, you are a junior doctor included in the pay dispute and are encouraged to take part in the strike action.

‘A full walkout means that you should not see patients on strike days, nor should you perform administrative work (e.g. reviewing bloods tests and other non-patient facing clinical tasks). Our advice is to not attend your practice at all on strike days.’

The BMA had previously confirmed that GP trainees would not be barred from protesting during the junior doctor strikes, but would only be able to join a picket line at or close to their place of work.

The new guidance also encouraged GP trainees who are due to finish training soon and might be reluctant to take part in the industrial action, to participate.

The union said: ‘We understand that for GP trainees who are ST3+ you might question the personal benefit of participating in any industrial action, when you are due to finish training soon and you might not see the direct benefit of any increase in pay.

‘In addition, as you are about to exit training you might be concerned about the impact of undertaking industrial action on your relationship with your GP colleagues and future career options.’

But the BMA argued that if junior doctors succeed in this action, it will improve their ‘ability to secure improvements for other areas of the health profession’, including the working conditions within general practice.

‘Amendments to the pay of doctors are usually backdated to the April of that year, so depending on your date of CCT, you may see the benefits of an increase in pay for GP trainees,’ the union added.  

During previous junior doctors’ strikes, GP practices were ‘strongly advised’ to cancel any clinics scheduled for GP trainees on industrial action days and encouraged to ‘visibly demonstrate their support’ for GP trainees.

The BMA also reiterated that this action by all junior doctors ‘has the support of the whole of the BMA and profession’ and that the GP profession has ‘explicitly demonstrated its complete support of GP trainees undertaking this action’, during a debate at the UK LMC conference last month, in which GP leaders said GPs should ‘take a similar approach’ to junior doctors.


Pulse Practice Jobs Logo

Are you looking for a new GP role?

Pulse Practice Jobs has 100s of GP vacancies to help power your next career move.

View and apply online ►


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

David Church 27 June, 2023 12:59 pm

There is so much complexity to IA for actual GPs, that the best hope is to argue for better GP pay based on raises won in the dispute over Juniors and Trainees, and Locum/Salaried GP rates – which is why national salaried GP Pay rate guidance is so important, but difficult to come across.
Partner GPs may see it as a challenge to their expenses and therefore personal income, but in the long run it would be best argument for GP pay being raised in proportion as well.
Therefore all senior GPs should also support their colleagues in this action.
Sadly, the situation in non-NHSE areas is more confused still, but a strong position and win in England will benefit everyone in GP in the near-term.

John Graham Munro 27 June, 2023 1:14 pm

If we have to have ” trainees” unlike in my day, then at least let them partake in something worthwhile

Dave Haddock 27 June, 2023 9:58 pm

Trainees see so few patients as it is that they struggle to get competent. Definitely will not help seeing fewer still.
Mad to miss the best learning opportunity in the whole of their training.