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Junior doctors planning 'range of actions' after calling off strikes

The BMA has said that it will look into other forms of opposition to the imposition of the junior doctors contract after calling off the series of five-day strikes planned over the next few months.

The Junior Doctors Committee agreed to cancel the strikes following its meeting on Saturday, ’due to feedback from doctors, patients and the public and discussions with NHS England about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service if industrial action’ were to go ahead.

Strikes had been planned for five days at a time over October, November and December. Planned action for September had already been cancelled due to patient safety fears.

JDC chair Dr Ellen McCourt said: ’We still oppose the imposition of the contract and are now planning a range of other actions in order to resist it, but patient safety is doctors’ primary concern and so it is right that we listen and respond to concerns about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service.

’Our fight does not end here. For many people this whole dispute has turned on how the NHS will assure quality care over seven days. It has highlighted the need for an open and honest debate led by the BMA on how this will be achieved. We call on our colleagues across the medical profession, other healthcare professionals, and the Government and patient groups to engage with junior doctors on this.’

The GMC and Health Education England had warned junior doctors that their training and registration may be put in jeopardy by taking prolonged industrial action.

Readers' comments (16)

  • GMC/HEE = the government.What about the operations cancelled everyday because of the austerity agenda of the said government with lack of social care on the reduction in hospital beds.This vandalism is causing more damage than the JDs ever could.

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  • It is a very sad day,where future of the NHS tips in favour of corporate NHS. The BMA leadership have done so many strategic blunders in last 12 months ...??? No action will have either credibility or support of junior doctors.The consequence is that the next generation of doctors will feel devalued and disenfranchised. Hunt will manipulate them into a culture of corporate health provision and in that sense, this was a battle that had more impact on the future .The battles for GPs and Consultants contract too have huge implications.

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  • Dr McCourt you and the BMA have lost this one. Outmanoeuvered by the masters of public manipulation. Hunt is no doubt sniggering at his desk. Time now to walk away and let this catastrophic mess reach its conclusion. Best you can be is Cassandra. This country will get the health service it deserves. It seems incapable of a grown up conversation of what the NHS should be and how it should be paid for.

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  • @10:15 the next generation of doctors won't stand for it and will vote with their feet. It may affect their plans but many will refuse to stay in an abusive relationship and rightly so.

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  • Hunt has handled this like the fight for the abolition of slavery was handled. By pushing a minute part of the issue into a policy backwater that creates the effect he wants - privatisation - by ensuring no other end point is plausible. How ironic that a method used to such positive ends is now used to reignite the fear Bevan fought so hard to banish.

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  • Pathetic!
    I left the BMA a year or two ago due to their complete spinlessness in protecting my interests as a doctor and just promoting the governments. I also left medicine as their innaction made it impossible to stay.
    If juniors do not dump the BMA and get a new organisation to run their politics then they deserve all the problems that they will then get.

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  • Watch now how a new Consultants contract will be imposed. Softened up by having to declare their private earnings then swinging changes to force the seven day cover. Sad day for the BMA.

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  • BMA accurately shot themselves in the foot. Hunt needed to do precisely nothing

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  • Saddened by this but think it was needed as I predict trouble for the NHS this winter which could be blamed on doctors if they strike. The public need to understand that failure of primary care/emergency services is not our fault.

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  • "patient safety is doctors’ primary concern and so it is right that we listen and respond to concerns about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service"
    I thought the strikes were planned because the imposed contract was thought to be unsafe for patients? The ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service is related to (1) proper whistle blowing protection (currently not present), and (2) adequate NHS funding (note the proportion of GDP put up for healthcare in UK cf other European countries!)
    If the NHS cannot provide safe emergency care when many weeks of notice has been given already, then it cannot provide safe health care when "winter pressures" arrive; this is NOT the responsibility of individual doctors but the responsibility of Tory government and *unt in particular.
    I'm disgusted and minded now to cancel my BMA subscription.

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