The BMA has said that it will look into other forms of opposition to the imposition of the junior doctors contract after calling off the series of five-day strikes planned over the next few months.
The Junior Doctors Committee agreed to cancel the strikes following its meeting on Saturday, ’due to feedback from doctors, patients and the public and discussions with NHS England about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service if industrial action’ were to go ahead.
Strikes had been planned for five days at a time over October, November and December. Planned action for September had already been cancelled due to patient safety fears.
JDC chair Dr Ellen McCourt said: ’We still oppose the imposition of the contract and are now planning a range of other actions in order to resist it, but patient safety is doctors’ primary concern and so it is right that we listen and respond to concerns about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service.
’Our fight does not end here. For many people this whole dispute has turned on how the NHS will assure quality care over seven days. It has highlighted the need for an open and honest debate led by the BMA on how this will be achieved. We call on our colleagues across the medical profession, other healthcare professionals, and the Government and patient groups to engage with junior doctors on this.’
The GMC and Health Education England had warned junior doctors that their training and registration may be put in jeopardy by taking prolonged industrial action.