Advice for junior doctor members during industrial action

Junior doctors should consider the impact of their absence and work collaboratively with their healthcare team to keep patients safe

Drawing of striking workers
  • Date: 21 April 2023
  • |
  • 2 minute read

As the threat of NHS industrial action continues, MDDUS wanted to give junior doctor members the following advice whether you plan to strike or not. This is in line with our commitment always to support our members with dedicated professional advice.

If you are planning to strike, start thinking now about your patients and whether your absence may have an impact on their safety. If you think it might, consider what mitigating actions you can take or support. This is very important because in the event of a complaint you must be able to justify the decisions you made.

We advise that you think about:

  • the type of work you do
  • the type of care you deliver, and
  • the clinical impact your absence may have on patient safety.

We recognise that when you consider these factors, if questions arise, they are likely to be unique to you, your role, and where you are employed.

It is also important to factor in the guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) and we encourage you to consult its ethical hub.

The hub highlights the importance of doctors working collaboratively with their healthcare team to keep patients safe. It also recognises that doctors may be faced with challenging situations during a strike and is clear that doctors will “need to use their professional judgement to assess risk and deliver the best possible care for people".

In advance of the planned industrial action only you can make decisions that you know you are comfortable with.

Support from MDDUS

Regardless of how you choose to respond to the strike action, our support for you will remain unchanged should you need us.

You can contact us on 0333 043 4444 or for advice and support on individual cases. Our advisers are available 24/7, 365 days of the year for urgent matters.

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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