Doctors’ strike case study: Devoted doctor in strike action but worked full day without pay

FOR 31 years Dr Peter Curry has devoted his life to the NHS.

He told how he never thought he would see doctors take industrial action – but said they had been forced into it.

Like most doctors, anaesthetist Dr Curry, 56, turned up for work at Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital as normal yesterday but his day was very different to usual.

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He said: “Normally on a Thursday I go to meetings [but today] I cancelled two meetings and did not attend any staff meetings or do any urgent paperwork. But that does not mean I sat around doing nothing.

“I worked from 8am until 6pm, as I normally do, but I won’t get paid for being here.

“I spent most of the day ensuring patients who needed care got it and that everything was running smoothly despite what was happening.”

On a typical Thursday the hospital carries out about 100 operations in a day. Dr Curry said just three of the hospital’s 20 operating theatres were in use yesterday.

They were used to treat cancer patients and patients who arrived in accident and emergency and also by some non-BMA member doctors.

He said no-one turned up unexpectedly at the hospitals and he praised NHS Fife for working hard to notify patients of delays to their treatments as a result of the strike.