AvMA’s statement on the planned junior doctors’ strike

Published: 11 Jan 2016

AvMA is disappointed and worried that negotiations between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association have broken down and junior doctors are set to go on strike. There is an obligation on both parties to come to an agreement and protect patients’ safety.

We do believe that change to a more rigorous 24/7 model is needed and inevitable in order to optimise patient safety. We have long argued that it is unacceptable that patients experience higher mortality and lower levels of safety at weekends and evenings.

However, we don’t want a 7 day a week service on 5 day resources, or for doctors to be overworked. That would create safety problems of its own. This change will come at a cost and we would not want junior doctors or other staff to be treated unfairly in order to make the change possible.

In moving to a more 24/7 model, it will be necessary to target the known pressure areas – those with the biggest implications for safety – rather than just try to be more productive in terms of doing more operations or creating more convenience.