19 April 2023

Academy of Medical Royal College statement upate – 19 April

The College has endorsed the statement from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges urging all parties to engage with an independent organisation to facilitate a swift resolution for the sake of patients.

Commenting on the BMA’s UK Junior Doctors Committee announcement of the result of their ballot on junior doctors’ industrial action in England, Professor Mike Osborn, President, said:

"The role of the Royal College of Pathologists is to support its members to deliver the best possible care for their patients.

This is a time of crisis for the NHS. Pathology, like other specialties, is facing a workforce emergency. The pressures on an understaffed workforce pre-pandemic were severe, and the COVID pandemic has intensified the situation. Our members tell us they feel under significant pressure from the increasing demands that the NHS places on them.

The decision to undertake industrial action is not one junior doctors have taken lightly. They care deeply about patient care and safety. While the College is not a trade union and as such cannot get involved in negotiating terms and conditions of employment, we do have a duty to maintain standards for the benefit of patients. We urge all parties to work together to come to a mutually agreeable solution to the current situation for the benefit of patients."

The College view:

  • Doctors deserve terms and conditions that are fair and reflect the value of the work they do.
  • These terms and conditions should recognise anti-social hours and the effect this has on doctors’ lives.
  • These terms and conditions should allow career progression and not discriminate against doctors who take parental leave or train flexibly.
  • We will only attract and keep a future workforce qualified and prepared to deliver the care that patients need by valuing and properly investing in our junior doctors and trainees.
  • Safeguards need to be put in place now to protect doctors from burnout. 
  • One of the biggest risks to patient care is doctors walking away from the profession and action must be taken to reduce this risk.