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Updated RCR statement on industrial action

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) isn’t a trade union and we do not have a mandate to advise our Fellows and members on industrial action. However, we understand the frustrations of doctors and recognise their right to industrial action.

We can also make sure we draw attention to the facts, as we do in every opportunity we have:

  • There is currently a 17% shortfall in clinical oncology and 29% in clinical radiology, which is limiting our ability to give safe and effective care. These shortfalls are set to worsen in the years to come.
  • Over the last decade, there has been a real-terms cut in doctors’ pay.
  • In a recent survey of our members, half reported being burned out, and a further 33% reported being slightly burned out.

We have signed up to the following updated statement from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and support the call for an independent organisation to help broker talks:

Issues of terms and conditions are not within the remit of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges or of its member medical colleges. While we fully recognise the right of individuals to take industrial action, it is not for us to comment on the details of the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee asks.

However, all colleges are keenly aware of the concerns and frustration of doctors throughout the NHS and the intense workload pressures they, along with other NHS professionals, are facing as a result of workforce shortages and as a legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are issues which do need to be addressed as a matter of urgency and junior doctors have the support of the Academy and their own colleges in doing this.

The Academy is concerned that a solution has not yet been reached and about the anticipated impact on NHS services and patients that will potentially follow any future action.

We urge both parties to engage swiftly and to enter negotiations with a commitment to work constructively and to offer flexibility. To this end both parties need to rapidly engage with an independent organisation to work out how the deadlock can be broken for the sake of patients and the wider NHS.