The RCGP and RCP have given their support for junior doctors and urged the need for a ‘prompt resolution’ following the ballot in favour of strike action.
Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), commented on the results of the ballot: ‘Junior doctors are the future of our profession, they have now spoken and made their position very clear.’ She went on: ‘We must do whatever we can to support our junior doctors and make them understand how valued – and how essential to the future of patient care - they are.’
Dr Baker added: ‘Our NHS is being pushed to breaking point, particularly as we head towards what will be a very difficult winter for our general practice and hospitals. A prompt resolution is in everyone’s best interests and the College will do everything we can to support this.’
Meanwhile, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) joined other medical Royal Colleges in supporting junior doctors with the following statement: ‘The Academy is urging both sides in the current dispute around junior doctors’ contracts to step back from the brink and re-enter negotiations in good faith so that an agreement can be reached. If necessary this should be through third party conciliation and arbitration. Failure to do so will have an adverse impact on the NHS and current and future patients.’
In response to the overwhelming result in favour of industrial action, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘It is regrettable that junior doctors have voted for industrial action which will put patients at risk and see operations cancelled or delayed.’ He went on: ‘We hope junior doctors will consider the impact this action – especially the withdrawal of emergency care – will have on patients and reconsider.’