Junior doctors have called off planned strikes in October, November and December, due to concerns that stopping work for an extended period would endanger patients.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the proposed new contract conditions are fair and will help to provide a seven-day NHS, however junior doctors have argued that it is unsafe and motivated by financial interest rather than patient care.

The British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee chair Dr Ellen McCourt said the decision to call off the strikes had been taken “in light of feedback from doctors, patients and the public, and following a passionate, thoughtful and wide-ranging debate amongst junior doctors.”

She added: “We still oppose the imposition of the contract and are now planning a range of other actions in order to resist it, but patient safety is doctors’ primary concern and so it is right that we listen and respond to concerns about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service.

“We hope the government will seize this opportunity to engage with junior doctors and listen to the range of voices from across the NHS raising concerns about doctors’ working lives and the impact of the contract on patient care.”

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