Nurses show their support for junior doctors' strike

Nurses are expected to join junior doctors on hospital picket lines today

Nurses are showing their support for junior doctors who are striking today over their new contract. 

Thousands of medics in England are restricting their cover to emergencies and are picketing hospitals across the country. 

The British Medical Association says the government’s proposals for the junior doctors’ contract do not provide proper recognition for working unsocial hours or include sufficient safeguards on safe working. But the government argues there will be a strict upper limit on the hours junior doctors can work in a seven-day period, and that medics will receive 11% higher base pay for a 40-hour week to compensate for weekend working.

Conciliation talks were suspended last week and the BMA is planning further action in the form of emergency-only cover from January 26-28, and on February 10, when it threatens a full walkout. 

Unison said its healthcare members will join doctors on picket lines today during their lunchtimes and breaks. The GMB union has also called on members to support the doctors. 

The RCN said members who wish to support the junior doctors should do so in their own time. It advises nurses not to cover the work of junior doctors if it falls outside their contract or competence. The college also suggests its members do not volunteer for overtime, bank or agency work to cover for their medical colleagues. 

Nurses were pledging their support on Twitter this morning.

Senior nurse Gill Lloyd (@GillLloyd64) tweeted: ‘#Isupportthestrike because the junior doctor contract is unsafe, unfair and seems designed to damage the NHS.’

Tessa Bennett (@littlemore20) said: ‘I’m not a junior doctor, but a nurse who has worked in the NHS for over 29 years. I support the doctors’ walkout 100%.’

NHS England estimates around 4,000 elective procedures have been cancelled today because of the action. It said everything possible is being done to ensure safe emergency care and to minimise the impact on patients. 


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