Patient safety paramount during industrial action, says MDDUS


For immediate release: Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Doctors taking part in the planned industrial action on June 21 must ensure patient safety is not compromised, warns UK-wide medical defence organisation MDDUS.

For the first time in almost 40 years, some practices will stop all routine care for 24 hours after 84 per cent of doctors voted for industrial action over changes to their pension.

The BMA has indicated that doctors on duty taking part in the 24-hour action will be in their usual places of work and all urgent and emergency care will still be provided, with only non-urgent services affected.

MDDUS will continue to provide full access to support and indemnity for all doctors taking part in the industrial action. However, they should be reminded of their obligations towards patients.

“MDDUS strongly advises doctors taking part in the action to take a cautious approach,” says MDDUS Head of Professional Services Dr Jim Rodger. “If there is any doubt about what constitutes urgent care they should treat first and ask questions later.

“The care of patients is a doctor’s first concern as stated in the GMC’s Good Medical Practice. Therefore, doctors involved in the industrial action should ensure patient safety is not compromised. They are encouraged to contact their medical defence organisation if in any doubt regarding their professional obligations on the day of action.

“Doctors should make adequate arrangement prior to June 21 to help protect patient safety. This includes providing patients with information via posters, leaflets or the practice’s website so they are aware of how the action may affect them.”

Dr Rodger adds: “The decision on whether doctors take part in the industrial action is their own. Our only concern is that doctors who do get involved take the necessary steps to ensure they and their patients are protected.”


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK. For further information on MDDUS go to

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