The outcome of the BMA ballot of consultants highlights once again the pressure that our members are under. Ongoing workforce shortages have contributed to unacceptable working conditions that lie at the crux of a steady and significant erosion of wellbeing and morale within the NHS. These issues need to be addressed.
While matters relating to terms and conditions of service are not within our remit, we recognise the right of doctors and other healthcare professionals to take industrial action, and we understand why many may wish to do so.
Negotiation is essential so that a resolution can be found without the need for industrial action.
Patient safety remains paramount. Should industrial action go ahead, we know our members and their colleagues will work to keep patients safe. However, in the longer term, we believe that standards of patient care in the NHS will be harmed if the working lives of our members are not improved.