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#GPnews: Eight in ten junior doctors take part in first ever all-out strike

17:06 Commenting on the strong turnout in today’s strike, BMA junior doctor committee chair Dr Johann Malawana said that ’figures indicate that more or less all of those eligible to take action today did so, and are in line with the proportion of junior doctors who are members of the BMA’.

He said: ’The overwhelming turnout at almost 150 picket lines across England today shows the strength of feeling amongst junior doctors against the government’s plans.

’Tens of thousands protested against a contract they believe is unfair and damaging to patient care in the long term.’

But he added that doctors ’deeply regret the disruption to patients and are taking this action as a last resort and with a heavy heart’.

16:20 Statistics unveiled by NHS England have shown that the turnout for Tuesday’s action was 78%, compared with 88% during the last strike day in March.

NHS England said the latest data, ’as at 0900hrs, indicates that 78% (21,608) of junior doctors who were expected to be working have not reported for duty today – this includes other forms of absence not just industrial action such as sickness’.

15:47 The diplomatic NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, has given an exclusive comment to Pulse on the junior doctor strike.

In an interview with Pulse earlier today, Mr Stevens refused to be drawn on whether the strike could have been avoided but said today was ‘a sad day’ for both NHS and doctors.

Read the full story here.

13:29 Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to withdraw the junior doctor contract imposition – or risk the whole of the UK’s reputation as an employer internationally.

In an open letter, Ms Sturgeon quoted concern raised by the Scottish Royal Colleges, adding: ’I am writing to raise my increasing concerns over the impact of your government’s decision to impose a contract on junior doctors in England…

’To alienate or drive away this group of doctors from the profession risks the skills and resources that would be available across the UK in the future and the ongoing dispute and apparerent refusal of your government to return to negotiations risks the reputation of the UK as an employer internationally.’

The Royal Colleges responded with a joint statement, thanking the Scottish Government for refusing to follow suit and impose the junior doctor contract in Scotland.

11:58 But, by contrast, the Telegraph runs a comment piece saying Jeremy Hunt is a ‘hero for standing up to BMA bullies’ on the contract dispute.

The paper says: ’No one elected the BMA to decide how the NHS should be run. That should be the job of our democratic politicians.

’Hunt has a clear mandate from the Conservative victory in 2015 to introduce a proper seven-day-a-week health service, which can only be done through a new contract.’

10:46 ’This is one of the saddest days in the history of the NHS’, shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has said in a statement.

Pointing out that the dispute still requires a resolution, she said: ’Nobody wanted to see this strike go ahead, least of all junior doctors. But Jeremy Hunt’s handling of this dispute has been utterly shambolic.’

It comes as yesterday the Labour MP launched a scathing attack on Mr Hunt in the House of Commons, saying history would ‘not be kind’ to Mr Hunt when remembering the junior doctor contract dispute.

9:38 Good morning and welcome to the live blog. A poll of the public, carried out by the BBC, has shown that a majority of people still support the junior doctor strike, depsite the historic move by doctors to withdraw emergency care for the first time since the inception of the NHS.

The poll showed that 57% are in support, although this was down from 65% at the time of the last strike day in March. The new poll showed that 26% are now opposed.

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Readers' comments (14)

  • Who cares about public perception?

    Tube drivers aren't liked by the public yet it doesn't stop people getting on the tube the momment their strikes stop.

    We are far harder to replace than tube drivers, and we are not trying to improve our pay and conditions, merely preserve the current terms for trainees.

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  • You've got the words to change a nation
    But you're biting your tongue
    You've spent a life time stuck in silence
    Afraid you'll say something wrong
    If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?

    So come on, come on
    Come on, come on

    You've got a heart as loud as lions
    So why let your voice be tamed?
    Maybe we're a little different
    There's no need to be ashamed
    You've got the light to fight the shadows
    So stop hiding it away

    Come on, come on

    I wanna sing, I wanna shout
    I wanna scream 'til the words dry out
    So put it in all of the papers,
    I'm not afraid
    They can read all about it
    Read all about it, oh

    At night we're waking up the neighbours
    While we sing away the blues
    Making sure that we're remembered, yeah
    Cause we all matter too
    If the truth has been forbidden
    Then we're breaking all the rules

    Let's get the TV and the radio
    To play our tune again
    It's 'bout time we got some airplay of our version of events
    There's no need to be afraid
    I will sing with you my friend

    Yeah, we're all wonderful, wonderful people
    So when did we all get so fearful?
    Now we're finally finding our voices
    So take a chance, come help me sing this
    Yeah, we're all wonderful, wonderful people
    So when did we all get so fearful?
    And now we're finally finding our voices
    Just take a chance, come help me sing this

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  • 'The Telegraph runs a comment piece saying Jeremy Hunt is a ‘hero for standing up to BMA bullies’...ahem....
    Dear Colleagues on strike, Please don't bully this poor gentleman who is a great national hero nominated by the Telegraph and the Tory government. We surely don't want him to complain to his Psychiatrist that future doctors don't like him. Send him a cuddle or he'll complain to the Press again.

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  • These arguements are going nowhere...and the strikes are border-lining futile to dangerous levels !

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  • I think it is a great day(although it would have been better if the emergency care by juniors was withdrawn continually over two days). At last doctors are standing up for all this.
    Jeremy/Government will still not listen until juniors finally go on strike continually.
    People need doctors PERIOD!
    It does not matter if they like or dislike us, they need us.
    They are increasingly suing us anyway so why should we care about popularity.
    It is all about survival.

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  • Future Secretaries of State take note - if you f*ck with us, we will come for you.

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  • hero, my foot.

    dangerous sociopath more like

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  • Nicola Sturgeon - Brazen, transparent, predatory and hilarious. She might as well wear a T-shirt saying 'Come and work for us instead.'

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  • Agree with all the above.

    We don't need to care about what the public think of us, we are a valuable asset and have been shat on too long and too hard.They need us full stop and the NHS can't run without us

    It's also funny that some a and e departments are reporting a very quiet day today. mmmm..... it's almost as if a lot of people going to a and e have very minor problems that can wait!

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  • Lets support juniors. Its not about holding people to ransom. Its fighting with monopoly employer. They cannot do whatever they wish to do.
    At least in Junior doctors leaders they have met their match. So far all doctors leaders were nothing but spineless creature.

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