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BMA to escalate junior doctors' strike action

Junior doctors have agreed to ‘escalate’ their action around the contract imposition, which would include ‘considering all options’.

In an email to junior doctors today, JDC chair Johann Malawana said: ‘The JDC voted today to move towards an escalation of its planned action.’

In a statement to Pulse, he said that the Government’s refusal to continue talks with junior doctors had left them with ‘no alternative but to consider all options open to them’.

There is no detail about what this escalation would involve, but they had planned earlier this year to withdraw all emergency cover, but did not go through with the action.

Junior doctors have already held a 48-hour strike since the imposition of the junior doctor contract, with two more planned for early and late April.

The BMA is also taking the Government to judicial review over the ‘embarrassing’ revelation that the Government failed to carry out an equality impact assessment before imposing a new contract on junior doctors in England.

But following the meeting today, the BMA is considering taking more action.

Dr Malawana said: ‘The Government’s refusal to get back around the table and to reach agreement through talks has left junior doctors with no alternative but to consider all options open to them.

‘Let me be clear, no junior doctor wants to have to take industrial action. Junior doctors want a negotiated settlement, but the Government is refusing to engage with the BMA.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt last month announced that he was imposing a contract on junior doctors after talks broke down over the issue of evening and weekend pay, with the Government refusing to step back from its decision to remove ‘unsociable hours’ pay premiums from Saturdays and weekday evenings.

What the imposed contract includes

The junior doctor contract imposed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt includes:

  • An increase in basic pay of 13.5%;
  • Redefining the definition of ‘plain time’ to include Saturday from 7am to 5pm;
  • Paying a premium of 30% for Saturday ‘plain time’ working, if the doctor works one in four weekends;
  • Reduce the definition of ‘safe hours’ from 91 to 72 hours a week;
  • Doctors will not work more than four consecutive nights – down from seven currently;
  • The maximum number of consecutive ‘long days’ will be reduced from seven to five;
  • A new ‘Guardian’ role will be introduced, with the authority to impose fines for breaches to agreed working hours, which will be invested in educational resources and facilities for trainees.

Read more here

 

Readers' comments (45)

  • The political drive is to reduce the deficit to start being in surplus for the 2020 general election.
    Note the sneaky increase in pension contributions for the nhs to pay in the prior year as well as lots of other manipulation in accounting to reach a turnaround in the deficit and start reducing the debt.
    the debt......how much will it be by 2020?
    The economy is such that the country can not afford a service that we as clinicians believe it should have.
    More blame from patients will be directed at us as clinicians.
    I am getting out now and changing career.

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  • Dear 553
    The economy can afford this service
    It can't afford low corporation and income tax and huge tax avoidance nor the profoundly dysfunctional political system allowing this

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  • Dear 702
    Other health care professional
    If you work the hours JDs do which I doubt as I doubt you are any kind of healthcare professional I might listen to you
    As I believe neither I the words of the great clement Attlee
    'A period of silence from you would now be most welcome'

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  • you have my full support Junior Colleagues

    get it right this time otherwise you will also suffer like the GPs

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  • Vinci Ho

    IDS had his first post resignation interview on Andrew Marr show .The 'Saint' spoke. As I said before , the mind suddenly became 'clear' when one stepped outside the 'establishment' . He said he had no 'personal ambition'.Of course , also driven by another secret agenda. Too bad , lie detector is not fashionable in this country.
    Very interesting 'reflection' from David Laws, Liberal Democrat. Never a fan of LD but just ordered a copy of his new book from Amazon:22 Days in May: The Birth of the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition. And ironically Daily Mail had this headline today:
    The Tory '£8billion to save the NHS' election con: Number 10 KNEW £16bn was needed to fill black hole... but fiddled the sums for its manifesto, reveals bombshell book by ex-Lib Dem minister David Laws
    Conspiracy theories are now the fashionable norm, ha ha ha.
    Comrades, have a clear view on what your enemy is like right now.......

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  • "NHS officials deny they were pressured to downgrade estimates of how extra much cash health service needed
    New book claims NHS would need £15-£16bn more funding by 2020".

    The independent 20.3.2016

    And Mr Hunt has falsely claimed an investment of unproven £10 Billion by 2020. Weekend deaths are just a political play. Blaming junior doctors and weekend staffing levels is slander by a politician who is rotten to the core. Deaths and increased mortality is from gross underinvestment in the NHS. We all know, A/E staffing levels are unsafe, NHS beds are now called trolleys, mental health services are non- existent, cancer treatments are outside their timed standards, etc. etc. It is difficult to measure deaths from lack of funding but it is happening now. Do not forget Mid Staffs issues happened under Mr Hunt's watch. Blaming staff issue on weekends is just unacceptable. Poor juniors!
    As the CEO of the NHS, Mr Hunt is now the perpetrator of this NHS failings and therefore deaths on what is gross underinvestment. He needs to go. NOW!

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  • I'm all for pushing back, but I'd fear this looses the popular public backing.

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  • Anon 7.02 - one of the reasons Hunt won't back down on a supposedly 'cost neutral' change for junior doctors is that if he can't get this through he'll have trouble stiffing the (more numerous) staff on Agenda for Change (which I doubt will offer any of the same 'guarantees' the junior contract claims to offer). We stand together or fall together.

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  • @11:20:how does this sort of infantile drivel contribute to an important debate?

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