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Academy statement: Planned industrial action

Issues of terms and conditions are not within the remit of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges or of its member medical colleges. While we fully recognise the right of individuals to take industrial action, it is not for us to comment on the details of the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee asks.

However, all colleges are keenly aware of the concerns and frustration of doctors throughout the NHS and the intense workload pressures they, along with other NHS professionals, are facing as a result of workforce shortages and as a legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are issues which do need to be addressed as a matter of urgency and junior doctors have the support of the Academy and their own colleges in doing this.

The Academy is concerned that a solution has not yet been reached and about the anticipated impact on NHS services and patients with a new round of proposed industrial action imminent.

In the previous action, hospital consultants, GPs and SAS doctors alongside nurses and other clinicians stepped in to manage the immediate work – but at the expense of their other work resulting in cancellation of at least 175,000 appointments.

With the inevitable very large numbers of appointments or procedures that will be cancelled, this action will further inconvenience and distress patients.

We urge both parties to engage swiftly and to enter negotiations with a commitment to work constructively and to offer flexibility.

29 March 2023