Practice staff have been advised to “treat first and ask questions later” on the day of the planned GP industrial action over pension reform on 21 June.
UK-wide medical defence organisation MDDUS has “strongly advised” doctors taking part in the action to take a “cautious approach” in ensuring patient care is not compromised in any way.
Doctors and other practice staff have also been urged to ensure patients are fully aware of how the protesting action will affect them through posters, leaflets or communication on the practice’s website.
Under the British Medical Association’s (BMA) plans, it is thought GP practices would remain open and staffed so they could see patients in need of urgent attention on the day of action, but routine, non-urgent appointments would not be available.
Decisions on what duties would be postponed would be based on the professional judgment of individual doctors.
“MDDUS strongly advises doctors taking part in the action to take a cautious approach,” says MDDUS Head of Professional Services Dr Jim Rodger.
“If there is any doubt about what constitutes urgent care they should treat first and ask questions later.
“The care of patients is a doctor’s first concern.”
In last month’s ballot, on a 53.18% of BMA GP member turnout, over three-quarters (78.96%) voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike and 63.25% voting for an outright strike.