Junior doctors to strike after talks fail to solve contract dispute

editorial image

A strike by junior doctors will go ahead after talks failed to resolve a long-running dispute with the government over new contracts.

Medics will take 24 hours of strike action from 8am on Wednesday, February 10, after talks ended without an agreement.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said all junior doctors except those providing emergency cover would take part in the strike.

It will be the second day of strike action over the new contracts, which the BMA said would lead to unsafe working hours and lower pay.

Latest talks between the BMA and the government with the conciliation service ACAS failed to reach a compromise over unsocial hours for junior doctors.

The government and health secretary Jeremy Hunt have also threatened to impose the new contracts without agreement from the BMA.

BMA junior doctors committee chairman Johann Malawana said: “The Government’s entrenched position in refusing to recognise Saturday working as unsocial hours, together with its continued threat to impose a contract so fiercely resisted by junior doctors across England, leaves us with no alternative but to continue with industrial action.”

Next Wednesday’s strike was originally planned to be a full walk-out. The BMA said it changed the action to an emergency care only strike to minimise disruption for patients.