1. ITV Report

Doctors' strike: What you need to know

Doctors will stage 24 hours of industrial action on June 21 Photo: Press Association

Doctors are taking industrial action for 24 hours in protest at the Government's controversial pension reforms.

On June 21 thousands of doctors will not treat any non-urgent cases; the stoppage will be the first industrial action taken by the profession for more than 40 years.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said the strike will definitely go ahead, unless the Government come back to the table to discuss the changes to the terms and conditions of their pensions. They have also refused to rule out further action.

Who will be affected by the strike?

  • Out-patients in hospitals and GP surgeries

What type of appointments will be affected?

  • Non-urgent hospital out-patient appointments
  • Elective, non-urgent surgery e.g. knee operations, hip operations, cataract removal, hernia repair
  • Non-urgent appointments at GP surgeries

What type of appointments will not be affected?

  • New cancer referrals and cancer surgery, including chemotherapy
  • Emergency and urgent procedures
  • Emergency investigations and discharges for inpatients
  • Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments
  • Maternity wards
  • Patients who turn up at a GP surgery who consider themselves in urgent need of attention
  • Urgent prescription requests

Will patients in hospitals be affected?

  • No, the BMA says patients in hospitals will not be affected. Doctors will be at work, they will just not be attending any non-emergency cases.

I have an appointment scheduled for June 21st. What should I do?

  • At the moment, nothing. The BMA say that they will release more information in the coming days. GP practices will remain open and fully staffed on the day of the action, and anyone with an appointment on the day will be called over the next few weeks to reschedule.

The BMA say they have been forced into taking the action by the "overwhelming reaction" from their members. They say they are doing all they can to ensure the impact on patients is minimal.

Doctors will remain bound by their professional duty to their patients as defined by the General Medical Council. Although there will inevitably be inconvenience for some patients, anyone requiring care or investigation that day will receive it.