Junior Doctors in England, represented by the British Medical Association, have voted in favour of industrial action.
The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is not a trade union, and has no mandate to advise our members or the wider public health workforce on industrial action.
However, the Faculty understands the frustrations of doctors and public health professionals who have worked tirelessly within a chronically under-funded health and care system to support patients and populations before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
FPH respects the right to take action amidst the profound pressures and challenges facing all those working within the NHS workforce. The decision to strike is never easy, and FPH support those who choose to do so knowing it is the last resort for many. We call for all parties to work together to reach a negotiated settlement for the benefit of staff, patients and the public.
Alongside resourcing challenges faced by Junior Doctors and the wider NHS workforce, the pressures facing the public health workforce have been exacerbated by year-on-year cuts to budgets and services.
The Public health workforce’s role and contribution has been consistently under-valued, especially considering its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery work to re-build our health, and leadership role in planning and preparing our response to the next major threat to population health.
Government must make the health workforce a priority, training more public health specialists and doing more to invest in the public health and NHS system now and for the long-term.