Harrogate Hospital
Harrogate Hospital

HDFT Junior Doctor strike, 14 to 17 June 2023

13 June 2023

Following talks with DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care), the BMA (British Medical Association) confirmed further industrial action will be undertaken by junior doctors in England.

  • A 72-hour walkout will take place between 0700 on Wednesday 14 June and 0700 on Saturday 17 June.

The action will affect some services provided by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT).

Junior doctors are doctors working in hospital who are not consultants.

HDFT have said that the planned walk-out will cause a shortage of doctors and they are working hard to provide appointments and/or treatment for patients as planned.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, said:

Since April’s strikes we have had three weeks of negotiations with the Government, seeking a deal that fully restores pay for junior doctors after the more than 26% drop they have suffered over the last 15 years. We entered these talks in good faith, hoping that after months of refusal by ministers to meet with us, we would finally see a real offer on the table that would avoid the need for more industrial action and stop the haemorrhaging of junior doctors from the NHS. In that time we have received an offer which is in no way credible or even reasonable for where we are in the negotiating process.

We made clear from the very start that talks required a recognition of the scale of our pay erosion. No such recognition has been forthcoming. We made proposals showing our willingness to be creative and work with the Government on how the reversal of our pay erosion could be achieved. In the end, however, the Government would simply not accept the fundamental reality of the pay cuts junior doctors have faced.

This was made clear when they finally made their pay offer of 5%. Not only is that nowhere near addressing pay erosion over the last fifteen years, it would not even have matched inflation this year. We are not in these meetings to agree to have our pay cut further, and the Government knows that. This was simply not a credible offer.

Despite this we are willing to continue talking and we expect to meet the Health Secretary on Wednesday as scheduled, where we hope he will bring a credible offer.

However, talks have now reached a stage where they are currently unproductive. Accordingly, we are in a position where we must call new industrial action. We are today announcing that junior doctors in England will hold another 72-hour full walkout between 0700 on Wednesday 14 June and 0700 on Saturday 17 June.

And if the Government doesn’t change their position, we will strike throughout the summer. This means we will call a minimum of three days of action every month for the duration of our mandate for industrial action.

Four in ten junior doctors are looking to leave the NHS, and the health service staggers under a workforce crisis. This is no time for the Government to play games on pay. We have made a start but the Government now needs to get serious.

HDFT have released a statement:

We understand this may cause our patients and their families to worry about how services will be delivered during this period. The safety of our patients is our primary concern and we have developed plans for the proposed action and its impact on our services, patients and staff. We are working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, critical care, neonatal care, maternity, and trauma, and ensure we prioritise patients who have waited the longest for elective care and cancer surgery.

To prioritise emergency care and to keep all patients safe, we are having to make changes to some of our outpatient and theatre services on the days of industrial action. We are aiming to keep as many outpatient appointments and elective activity across the three days of strike action, but there is a risk that these may be cancelled at short notice.

Patients should continue to attend appointments as planned unless contacted to reschedule. We will only reschedule appointments and procedures where necessary and any postponed appointments will be re-arranged as a priority. We appreciate this situation is frustrating for patients affected and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Regardless of any strike action taking place, it is important to know that people with life-threatening or severe illnesses or injuries should continue to dial 999 and come forward as normal.

For people who require medical assistance and are considering visiting our Emergency Department, unless it’s a life-threatening or a severe illness or injury, we would ask that they contact NHS 111 first either by calling or going online https://111.nhs.uk/. The NHS will help them right away and if they need urgent care, the NHS can book them in to be seen quickly and safely.

If you attend our Emergency Department when your condition is not serious or life-threatening, you may be asked to go elsewhere to seek support or you may have a very long wait for treatment. For more information on when to go to A&E, please visit the NHS UK website.

Thank you for your understanding.

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