Junior Doctors

Thanks for contacting me about the recent junior doctor strike action.

As you will know, the situation changed recently when, after listening to concerns such as those you raise, Jeremy Hunt MP, the Health Secretary, offered to pause the introduction of the junior doctors’ contract in England for five days in order to allow for further talks with the BMA.

I would like to assure you that I, and the Health Secretary, know junior doctors already work seven days a week, playing a vital role in our NHS and doing a fantastic job delivering excellent care for patients. The Government’s reforms are intended to improve patient safety and properly reward – not penalise – NHS staff, ensuring safer working hours and delivering a truly seven-day health service. I know that’s what doctors want too, so it is extremely disappointing that the BMA chose unnecessary industrial action, which helps no one, in place of negotiation. 

The BMA called an all-out strike on 26th and 27th April, with doctors instructed to refuse to provide life-saving care for the first time in NHS history. However, I believe this was a completely irresponsible course of action, putting patient lives at risk.  

Further strike action is completely unnecessary and would mean tens of thousands more patients face cancelled operations. Through negotiation, progress has been made on almost 100 different points of negotiation, with agreement secured with the BMA on approximately 90 percent of the contract, including agreement on hours and pay. The only outstanding issue was Saturday pay. 

The Government agreed that anyone working 1 Saturday out of 4, or more, should get higher premium pay rates. This is a better deal than that awarded to nurses, paramedics or other public sector workers such as police officers and fire-fighters...

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Junior Doctors May 2016.pdf 445.05 KB