*This news story was updated with new upcoming strike dates on 12 September 2023. Originally published 24 February 2023*
Junior doctors in England are set to strike from 20-22 September and 2-5 October. Consultants are set to strike 19-20 September and 2-5 October. On the strike days which include both junior doctors and consultants (20 September and 2- 5 October) Christmas day levels of cover will be implemented.
The RCOG is not a union and therefore employment terms and conditions are not within our remit. However, we recognise the right of our members and colleagues to take industrial action, and understand their reasons for doing so.
Health professionals across the NHS are working tirelessly to manage unprecedented levels of demand with significant workforce shortages. The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is an important step, but it is not clear how the ambitions around training, retaining and recruiting staff will be implemented within our specialty.
Patient safety remains vitally important, and the longer strikes continue the greater the impact will be for patients. We hope that all parties can work together to reach a negotiated settlement before the strikes begins, for the benefit of patients, the public and all NHS staff.
During any strike period, people should attend planned or routine NHS appointments unless otherwise notified, and access advice and care from NHS 111, pharmacies and their GP. Any pregnant women with concerns about their health or their baby shouldn’t hesitate to contact their maternity unit or GP. On the strike days which include both junior doctors and consultants (20 September and 2- 5 October) staff will deliver ‘Christmas Day’ levels of care, which will include maternity services, but no elective or non-emergency work.