The Government has agreed to meet with the BMA Consultants Committee in the hope to find a resolution to the current pay dispute.
The committee received an invitation to talk with the Department for Health and Social Care following a letter from the BMA requesting the resumption of negotiation and indicating they would pause consultant strikes.
These will be the first formal talks the committee has had with the Government since May.
Dr Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA Consultants Committee, said: ‘The BMA Consultants Committee has been clear that reform of the broken pay review process is essential to resolving this dispute and that the reformed pay review body is to make truly independent recommendations on pay in order to correct for the losses that consultants have experienced that have resulted in the current workforce crisis.
‘We will be expecting to discuss and explore other solutions in the forthcoming talks.
‘It is good to see the Government is willing to come to the table and it is vital that they commit to serious negotiations with a view to bringing this avoidable dispute to a conclusion.’
NHS England chair Richard Meddings gave the stark warning that winter pressures will be ‘impossible to manage’ if also impacted by strikes, while chief executive Amanda Pritchard noted talks between the Government and doctors cannot resume ‘soon enough’.