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Junior doctors and Government to hold fresh conciliation talks

The BMA and the Government will hold fresh conciliation talks around the junior doctors’ contract in a bid to reach an agreement before strikes take place next week.

Strike action is set to take place on 12 January, after the BMA announced on Monday that its talks with NHS Employers had broken down.

However, mediation body Acas announced today that they ‘have invited the sides involved in the junior doctors dispute for Acas talks this Friday. Talks are expected to start at 10am’.

Acas told Pulse that both parties have agreed to the talks.

The two parties entered similar conciliation talks in November last year, which led to a suspension in the planned strikes.

If Friday’s negotiations fail to produce an agreement, only junior doctors involved in emergency care will be working between 8am on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday next week, with further walkouts planned for late-January and early-February.

The contract dispute surrounds the Government’s plans to redefine Saturdays and evenings from 10am to 10pm as ‘sociable hours’, forcing hospitals to rota more doctors at weekends by removing unsociable hours payments.