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Independents' Day

Junior doctors announce monthly five-day long strike action

The BMA has announced that junior doctors will strike for five days at a time for the next four months until the Government goes back on its imposition of a new contract.

It announced yesterday that junior doctors will strike for five days consecutively later this month. 

But it has now said similar action will take place every month until December at least. 

The dates announced today are:

  • 12 - 16 September 
  • 5, 6 and 7 October (weekend covered) and then 10 - 11 October
  • 14 - 18 November
  • 5 - 9 December

This will consist of a full withdrawal of labour for five days, between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

The JDC said in July it was looking at what ‘next steps’ to take in the contract row, following the Government’s announcement that it will be imposed from October.

Although previous BMA negotiators had accepted the contract, junior doctors rejected the contract offer by 58% of the vote in a ballot. This followed six days of walkouts in protests over contract changes earlier in the year.

Dr Ellen McCourt, BMA junior doctors committee chair, said yesterday: ’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.

’With just weeks before the first group of doctors is moved onto the imposed contract, time is running out. This contract will be in place for many years, it will have a direct impact on patient care and whether we can attract and keep enough doctors in the NHS. It is too important to be rushed to meet a political deadline.

’We have a simple ask of the Government: stop the imposition. If it agrees to do this, junior doctors will call off industrial action.’

A DH spokesperson said: ’As doctors’ representatives, the BMA should be putting patients first not playing politics in a way that will be immensely damaging for vulnerable patients. What’s more, the BMA must be the first union in history to call for strike action against a deal they themselves negotiated and said was a good one.

’Whilst there are many pressures on the frontline, funding is at record levels, with the highest number of doctors employed in the history of the NHS. Co-operation not confrontation is the way forward to make sure patients get the best treatment and the NHS is there for people whenever they need it.’


Readers' comments (20)

  • Inexcusable- very short notice and designed to be highly disruptive. Public sympathy will turn to loathing.

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  • What is inexcusable is the political will, lies and smoke screens used to drive junior doctors into this action in the first place.

    They are fighting for the future of the NHS and for some acknowledgement of the incredibly difficult job that they and we all do.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Dear Auntie,
    Less than 100 days in your office , I can understand that it is risky not to call your chosen SOS 'excellent' as you picked a legacy from your predecessor's government instead of a new kid on the block. The reasons behind that is understandable . But for all your wonderful and respectable aspiration to achieve good by tackling inequalities in this society , the first official confrontation against the government you lead ( as you rightly put) is ironically, the injustice treatment on this crowd of young , highly educated , elite of the society , namely junior doctors .
    The argument about going on strike about a contract they called 'good' before , is exactly what you described 'playing with politics' by your SOS. Our young negotiators were more or less coerced to accept and promote the so called contract with your(also your predecessor's) excellent SOS holding a big knife called 'imposition' behind his back. We see so often decent people under captivity will have to succumb to threat of violence. Thanks to the virtual violence of your excellent SOS.How would you feel if EU said it would impose article 50 on you tomorrow ?
    Now they are willing to sacrifice their pride and credibility to stand up against your government once more , not knowing whether what their future will be. If the previous industrial actions were like well announced and staged boxing matches , they have now reverted to street fights 5 days a week going down a road of no return.
    They are supposed to be the pillars of this society providing their services(if they still decide to stay on) for the next thirty , forty years . While you can choose to kill off old fart like me as my lifespan of service is coming towards the end and may be costing your government 'too much' money(a different debate on another day) , you certainly want thirty plus years of cooperation instead of confrontation from these youngsters . This is an extraordinary moment in history and your name will be written in the book . The contract means everything to these innocent youngsters and it is not about money .You should see that by now.The legacy of your predecessor on so called seven days NHS driven by your SOS is reckless and dangerous . Inevitably , they want to sacrifice these young people to fulfil their own ambition chasing after a 'personal crusade' . Fate had taught your predecessor a lesson for his arrogance , bitterness and ruthlessness . The saddest thing was most people did not pay him any sympathy for the tears he shed , announcing his resignation in front of the country.
    Let your SOS step down carrying away your predecessor's legacy , appoint somebody with better sense and sensitivity to negotiate with the new junior doctor's representatives and find the solution . Failure to do that , your great vision of achieving equality is doomed to fail........

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  • This is shameful.
    Juniors should not be striking over weekend pay.
    I could support them in a root and branch change in the whole NHS concept, but this is essentially over hourly pay rate.

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  • What's truly shameful is the way in which the government is steam rolling ahead with the imposition of a contract that is both ill considered, and completely out of touch with reality. I think the public can see through the spin from the government; support for the Junior Drs remains strong.

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  • I think that the SOS thought that it had stalled Junior Doctors when they thought they had secured a climb down by GPC. How wrong they are. The troops are not placated - they are angry and have had enough.

    I think that NHSE think that the General Practice Forward View has stalled GPs and that the series of workshops are building morale. The troops are not placated - they are fed up and sending Robert Varnham out to spin with no substance is not credible. The London evening event was one of most morale sapping events to date - light on substance and devoid of detail about how 5,000 doctors would materialise.

    I think this represents a tipping point.

    Investment in primary care continues to drop.

    The SOS has crossed the rubicon with the juniors and they are supported by the consultants.

    Policy announced before resources identified and provided.

    This issue has the potential to cast a significant shadow on the new PM's agenda.

    You can push the profession only so far. rolling over all the time is not good for patients in the long run.

    Falling out with several arms of the professions at the same time when we need them all to work together to address the hospitals filling up because the economy cant support social care - also not sensible.

    Recipe for disaster?

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  • We are striking for our rights.Even a plumber charged extra for working on saturdays and sundays.
    If you are a doctor doesnt mean you get privileges or other services for free.You have to pay for it.

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  • ’As doctors’ representatives, the BMA should be putting patients first not playing politics'
    Isn't that what a union is meant to do - play politics?

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  • Nothing wrong with playing politics as long as it's not just for its own sake.
    The tories remain the 'nasty' party. Theresa May has no mandate.
    Even more depressing is that there is no credible opposition .

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  • Strongly in support of Junior Doctors. Probably need a vote among SENIOR DOCTORS and GPs as well to see who are with and who are against. I gather most of senior doctors are WITH Junior doctor and this will stop rogue occasional senior doctors or GPs posting insensible comments.

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