Junior doctors plan week of all-out strikes

PUBLISHED: 12:55 01 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:55 01 September 2016

The five-day junior doctors' strike, due to take place from September 12-16, has been called off. Picture PA images.

The five-day junior doctors' strike, due to take place from September 12-16, has been called off. Picture PA images.

PA/Press Association Images

Junior doctors are proposing further all-out strikes which will see them walk out from 12 to 16 September, between 8am and 5pm, with more industrial action expected to follow.

This will see them walk out for the sixth time, after the members of the British Medical Association (BMA) voted to reject the proposed new contract for the second time in July.

The new contract is expected to be introduced in October, against a backdrop of opposition from junior doctors in England, including many who work for the NHS trust which runs King George Hospital and Queen’s Hospital.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the plans as devastating, in an interview on BBC Breakfast this morning.

He said: “I think junior doctors work incredibly hard, they work a lot of nights, a lot of weekends, some of the hardest-working people in the NHS.

“And we want to resolve this through co-operation, but you can’t have constructive discussions with an atmosphere of trust when people have decided to unleash the most devastating doctors’ strike in NHS history.”

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) would be obliged to impose the contract on all junior doctors due to its non-foundation status.

Ellen McCourt, the chair of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, said: “Junior doctors still have serious concerns with the contract, particularly that it will fuel the current workforce crisis, and that it fails to treat all doctors fairly.

“Since July, the BMA has made repeated attempts to work with the government to address the concerns that junior doctors have raised about the contract.

“Genuine efforts to resolve the dispute through talks have been met with an unwillingness to engage and, at times, deafening silence from the Secretary of State, leaving junior doctors with no choice but to take further action.

“This is despite a pledge from Jeremy Hunt that his door is always open.

“The government has consistently said this is about creating a seven-day NHS, when junior doctors already work weekends and it’s been shown that the government has no answer to how it will staff and fund extra weekend care.”

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