Junior Doctors will walk out three more times


The British Medical Association today announced it would take industrial action are from 8am on Wednesday March 9 to 8am on Friday March 11, from 8am on Wednesday April 6 to 8am on Friday April 8, and from 8am on Tuesday April 26 to 8am on Thursday April 28.

The strikes would only affect emergency care.

The medics are currently protesting new contracts.


The BMA said it would also launch a judicial review because, it says, the Government did not carry out an Equality Impact Assessment before giving junior doctors in England a new contract.

It said that under the Equality Act 2010, the Government must show “due regard” to equalities issues, typically assessed through an EIA prior to making a decision.

But it added that the Government has failed to provide evidence of an EIA having been conducted ahead of its decision on February 11 to impose a contract on junior doctors from this August.

The controversial new contracts will only be offered to junior doctors when their current contracts expire, meaning no existing terms and conditions are being changed, health sources said.

Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “In recent weeks, I have heard from thousands of junior doctors across the country, and the resounding message is that they cannot and will not accept what the Government is trying to do.

“It now appears that in trying to push through these changes, the Government failed to give proper consideration to the impact this contract could have on junior doctors. This is yet another example of the incompetence which the Government has demonstrated throughout its handling of this dispute.

“Imposing this contract will seriously undermine the ability of the NHS to recruit and retain junior doctors in areas of medicine with the most unsocial hours, where there are already staffing shortages. This will have a significant impact on areas such as emergency medicine, maternity care and paediatrics, to name but a few.

“We have already seen NHS chief executives refusing to support an imposition, and patient representatives have said they are appalled by this move. Added to this, the Government”s former adviser on patient safety, Don Berwick, has said it should apologise to junior doctors over the contract dispute.

“The Government must listen to the chorus of concern coming from all quarters and reconsider this disastrous approach.

“The fact is, junior doctors already work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contract. If the Government wants more seven-day services then, quite simply, it needs more doctors, nurses and support staff, and the extra investment necessary to deliver them.

“Rather than address these issues head on, the Government wants to introduce a contract that is unfair and in which junior doctors have no confidence.

“The Government can avert this action by re-entering talks with the BMA and addressing the outstanding issues and concerns junior doctors have, rather than simply ignoring them.

“If it pushes ahead with plans to impose a contract that junior doctors have resoundingly rejected we will be left with no option but to take this action.

“The Government must put patients before politics, get back around the table and find a negotiated solution to this dispute.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: ““Further strike action is completely unnecessary and will mean tens of thousands more patients face cancelled operations – over a contract that was 90% agreed with the BMA and which senior NHS leaders including Simon Stevens have endorsed as fair and safe. The new contract will mean an average 13.5% basic pay rise, and will bring down the maximum number of hours doctors can work.

“We urge junior doctors to look at the detail of the contract and the clear benefits it brings.”