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Chief medical officer calls on junior doctors to suspend strike

Dame Sally Davies says the action would ‘lead to patients suffering’

Mark Gould

Monday, 11 January 2016

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, has stepped into the junior doctors dispute saying that tomorrow's planned 24-hour strike over pay and conditions should be suspended.

Dame Sally said the action by the British Medical Association (BMA) would "lead to patients suffering".

"As a doctor, I can understand the anger and frustration felt by many junior doctors at this time," Dame Sally said.

"In part, this dispute is a symptom of frustration and low morale that has been building for decades and the strain that a career in medicine can place on your work-life balance.

"Junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS, working long and anti-social hours... It is vital that, as senior medical leaders, we ask ourselves whether we are doing everything we can to ensure our junior colleagues feel valued."

The strike begins across England at 08:00 GMT, from when junior doctors will only provide emergency care.

Conciliation service Acas has confirmed that talks between the BMA and NHS bosses will continue this week.

The BMA said the strikes "demonstrated the strength of feeling amongst the profession".

It announced three spells of strike action in England in November, after negotiations with the government ended without resolution.

Picture: London, 17 October 2015 - Junior doctors marching in London streets to campaign against NHS contract changes. Credit: William Perugini / Shutterstock.com

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