Junior doctor dispute

Junior doctors are considering further strikes in September following Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirming the new contract would be imposed last month.

The contract was rejected by the BMA in July after 58% of junior doctors and medical students opposed it in a ballot, with a 68% turnout.

The junior doctors committee (JDC) of the British Medical Association (BMA) is to ask its full council to back further industrial action in early September.

Six previous strikes have taken place this year, including the first complete walkout in the NHS history, after junior doctors and the government failed to come to an agreement.

In a letter to members released on Twitter, Dr Ellen McCourt, who chairs the JDC, said: “JDC has today made a formal request for a special meeting of BMA Council to authorise a rolling programme of escalated industrial action beginning in early September.

“Junior doctors still have serious concerns about the proposed contract, particularly that it will fuel the current workforce crisis, and that it fails to treat all doctors fairly.

“With just eight weeks before the first group of doctors are moved onto the new contract, progress needs to be made and time is running out.”

Daniel Mortimer, the chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Industrial action achieves little or nothing but places pressure on already stretched teams and services and causes worry, distress and disruption for patients, carers and their families.

“Over the last two months we have been talking with the junior doctors committee and have, along with the Department of Health and others, responded positively to their concerns regarding the guardian role and whistleblowing.”

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