As you are aware following the latest breakdown in negotiations it is likely that the previously suspended junior doctors’ industrial and strike action will now take place – emergency care only on 12th and 26th of January and full strike action on the 10th February. Updated BMA guidance to practices which have GP trainees who may be participating has been issued and is attached.
As previously advised, there is the potential for all practices to be affected by increased unscheduled workload spilling over from secondary care on these days, and it would be prudent to consider the implications of this for your practice and to assess whether you need to do anything in mitigation, in order that you can continue to fulfil your contractual obligations to provide essential services meeting the reasonable needs of your patients. Possible suggestions that your practice might wish to consider in order to free up capacity for additional unscheduled care could include cancelling or reducing the volume of routine appointments and reducing or stopping any non-patient facing activities on the days in question. Such actions would be entirely legitimate, would not put practices in breach their contracts and would not represent any illegal support for the industrial action on the part of practices. Patients should of course be advised in as timely a manner as possible if any already-booked routine appointments need to be cancelled.
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