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#GPnews: Jeremy Hunt says turnout for junior doctors’ strike has fallen

16:10 The NHS is ringfencing £4.2 billion for IT projects, with £900m set to go towards capital projects such as new IT systems.

But there is potential tension you might have missed.

Following Jeremy Hunt’s announcement on the Andrew Marr Show about this investment, NHS England’s director of digital technology Beverley Bryant said that NHS England had been ‘working hard’ to deliver a detailed plan for the £4.2bn by March, but ‘the secretary of state decided on Sunday that we would announce the numbers’.

She added: ’We’re busy planning at the moment, and I’ve come under pressure to tell you all [journalists] what it’s all for when we’re right in the middle of a planning run.’

What could she be getting at?

15:30 Our story on Jeremy Hunt’s reaction to the junior doctor strike is now live. He is not ruling out a contract imposition – but he says he ’hopes it doesn’t get to that’.

14:30 The Daily Mirror has picked up on an innovative ’Jeremy Hunt-free zone’ card. Unfortunately, a primary care version of this card has not yet been reported.

13:58 Pulse social media producer Lalah Springer has been getting lessons in CPR from junior doctors protesting near St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

13:45  Jeremy Hunt said that pay-rates for junior doctors working on a Saturday were the final sticking point in negotiations with the BMA.

He also suggested that fewer junior doctors had attended the second strike, saying: ‘It’s important to say that today, forty three percent of junior doctors have turned up to work, so the turnout to the strike has been slightly lower than before.’

But when pressed on whether this excluded emergency cover, that was never intended to form part of the striking workforce, he said he ‘did not want to over play it’ but turnout was ‘slightly less’.

We’ll have a full story to follow.

11:00 The DH have just said that Jeremy Hunt will speak on the junior doctors’ stike at 11:30. More on that to follow. 

10:40 Pic of the day comes from an unlikely source – the Radio Times. It shows Dr Who stars giving their support to junior doctors:

10:34 A joint letter of support for the junior doctors strike from GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA consultant committee chair Dr Keith Brent and SAS committee chair Amit Kochar has just been published. It says: 

’We share junior doctors’ strong regret about the disruption to patients on 10 February. We also know, however, that the damage which this contract would do to patient care and the NHS in the long-term would be profound.

An attack on junior doctors is an attack on us all, and on the quality of care we provide. Their patients are our patients, and their values are ours.’


10:05 Some fan mail for our very own Copperfield from the former chair of the LMCs Conference, Dr Mike Ingram. Copperfield said that GPs should be making the case that general practice is currently unsafe for patients.

Read the whole column here.

9:40 The GPC prescribing chair has an interesting take on some senior doctors’ line that it was harder in their day:

9:00 Today’s news is likely to be dominated by the junior doctors’ strike. Initially due to be a full-on strike, junior doctors have decided to continue to provide emergency care. 

The BMA twitter account has already been showing protests going on across the country:

We’ll have updates throughout the day. 

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing