Revolutionary NHS Transformations Unveiled: Consequences of the Landmark Consultant and Junior Doctor Strikes in September 2023!


In their first joint action in the history of the NHS, junior doctors and consultants will strike together this Wednesday

In a historic move, both junior doctors and consultants will go on strike simultaneously for the first time in the history of the National Health Service (NHS). This joint action comes as pay disputes between the Government and doctors escalate, with both groups demanding fairer compensation for their work. The strike, organized by the British Medical Association (BMA), will span four days, with consultants starting the strike action on Tuesday and junior doctors joining them on Wednesday.

Why are doctors striking?

The BMA has stated that doctors are seeking a 35% increase in pay to compensate for years of below-inflation wage rises. It is arguing that junior doctors’ wages have effectively fallen by 26% between 2008 and 2022 due to inflation. The BMA is demanding an increase that will restore their salaries to their previous levels. In contrast, the Government has implemented a 6% pay rise for consultants and an average pay increase of 8.8% for junior doctors, along with a lump sum of £1,250, stating that there will not be any further offers. Health Secretary Steve Barclay has defended this pay rise as both “final and fair” and in line with the recommendations of the independent pay review body.

When are doctors striking?

The consultants’ strike will commence on Tuesday, 19th September, at 7am and will conclude on Thursday, 21st September, at 7am. Junior doctors will begin their strike on Wednesday, 20th September, at 7am and will end it on Saturday, 23rd September, at 7am. The BMA has planned further strikes over the next month, with a total of six days of joint strike action between consultants and junior doctors. Consultants will strike again from 7am on Monday, 2nd October, until 7am on Thursday, 5th October. Junior doctors will strike during the same period.

What NHS services will be affected?

Emergency services will continue to operate throughout the strikes, ensuring that critical care is available. However, routine services, including non-emergency operations and appointments, may experience disruptions, and patients should expect to be informed in advance about any postponements. In case of emergencies, individuals are advised to use A&E units as normal or call 999. For other concerns, the public should contact 111 or GP services, although these may also be subject to disruptions as some junior doctors work as GP trainees.

What is the impact on NHS services?

The strikes have caused the rescheduling of significant amounts of routine work, resulting in the postponement of nearly one million appointments and treatments, including some cancer care, since December. Hospitals report that up to half of their normal activity has had to be stopped during strikes. This disruption is not limited to doctors, as other healthcare professionals, such as nurses, radiographers, and ambulance workers, have also participated in walkouts. NHS England medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis has described the situation as an enormous challenge, highlighting that the NHS has never experienced this level of industrial action before. Matthew Taylor of the NHS Confederation has expressed concerns that ministers might be underestimating the risks associated with the strikes, noting that some patients are facing the cancellation of treatments and appointments for the second or third time.

Who is striking?

Junior doctors account for almost half of all NHS doctors, including newly graduated medics and those with up to 10 years of experience. Once the consultant strike ends, junior doctors will stage a full strike, while consultants from different specialties will be deployed to provide cover. The BMA doctors, including specialty and specialist (SAS) doctors who make up just under 10% of the medical workforce, will also provide cover during the strikes. However, since approximately one in three doctors is not a BMA member, some doctors will continue to work during the strikes.

How much are doctors paid?

Junior doctors’ basic salary ranges from £32,400 to £63,150, with the pay increase. Consultants have not specified an exact figure for their desired pay rises but insist that it should be above the inflation rate to compensate for the pay they have effectively lost due to inflation. In addition to their basic salaries, doctors can earn an extra quarter to a third of their pay for working unsociable hours and taking on additional shifts. BMA leader Dr. Philip Banfield has called on the Government to reopen talks and present a credible offer, stating that if the Government truly cares about patients, it will take these steps. Mr. Barclay, on the other hand, has argued that the Government must also consider other NHS workers and the need to combat inflation.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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