Intended for healthcare professionals


Junior doctors’ dispute: a pollster’s view

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 31 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1717
  1. Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MORI
  1. Ben.Page{at}

Ben Page assesses what the polls tell us about the public’s view of strike action

Doctors don’t normally strike. They have been the most trusted profession in the United Kingdom ever since we first asked about the veracity of different professions in the 1980s. The clergy has seen its levels of trust fall, and that of scientists has risen, but, year in year out, nothing has blunted the public’s trust in doctors. Not even Harold Shipman. In contrast fewer than one in four people trust cabinet ministers to tell the truth, and the Department of Health was always going to be on the defensive. So when the BMA announced strike action, I expected public support to be high. Since January 2016 we have measured public …

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