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RCOphth Statement in response to the strike action planned by Junior Doctors

23 November 2015

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists joins with other medical royal colleges and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in urging both sides in the current dispute around junior doctors’ contract to step back from the brink and re-enter negotiations so that an agreement can be reached. If necessary through third party conciliation and arbitration. Failure to do so will have an adverse impact on the NHS and current and future patients.

The College recognises the invaluable contribution that junior doctors make every day in the NHS. At a time when ophthalmology services are already dealing with capacity issues, we cannot risk losing future ophthalmologists from this vital specialty. Ophthalmology registrars provide care for an increasing volume of patients and deliver safe and effective care for both routine and emergency cases.

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is not a trade union and the junior doctor contract negotiation is a matter between the government and the BMA who represent doctors. The right to strike is a personal choice for doctors and should be undertaken bearing in mind the guidance of the GMC.

We recognise that patients and the general public will be concerned about the impact the current situation may have on services; but are confident that all ophthalmologists will take measures to ensure the continued care of patients is provided safely now and in the future.