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BMA urged to suspend strike

Academy of Royal Colleges calls for a return to the negotiating table

Mark Gould

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

As junior doctors prepare to escalate their long running contract dispute with a full walkout covering emergency and elective care next month, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has called for concessions from both sides.

In a statement, the Academy, backed by the presidents of all 22 UK medical colleges and faculties across the UK, calls for strike action to be suspended.

"This is a time of unprecedented crisis for the NHS. With this in mind and in the spirit of placing patient welfare first and foremost we are writing in response to the escalation of the junior doctor's dispute in England.

"We call on both sides in the dispute to step back from the brink by suspending imposition of the contract and the all-out strike and urge a return to negotiations.

"We believe that this is essential if the current impasse is to be broken and progress made in resolving this extremely damaging stand-off for the benefit of all NHS stakeholders, particularly our patients and trainees."

Junior doctors plan to stage a full walkout later next month in response to Government plans to impose a new contract from August. On 26 and 27 April, there will be a full withdrawal of labour between 8am and 5pm.

The previously agreed 48-hour period of action from 6 to 8 April, with junior doctors providing emergency care only, will also be going ahead as planned.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said that ministers’ refusal to back down from imposition and listen to the deeply held concerns with the planned new contract meant that escalation of action had become unavoidable.

He said: “There is not a single doctor in this country who wanted or expected to reach this point. We have been left with no alternative but to escalate the action, in order that the legitimate grievances expressed by thousands of junior doctors are heard.”

A previous ballot of junior doctors saw 98% vote in favour of industrial action including full withdrawals of service.

Picture: Middlesbrough, Teeside - 12th January 2016 - A junior doctor on the picket line at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Credit: Stuart Boulton / Shutterstock.com

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