More strike action looms for Cambridgeshire junior doctors in contract dispute

King's Mill Hospital

There will be a full withdrawal of labour for five days from Monday, September 12, to Friday, September 16, between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

In a surprising development, a spokesman for the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said the action was not proportionate.

“My judgment is to proceed with the contract that was negotiated in May and supported by the BMA leadership but to say we are willing to talk”, Hunt said. In a statement the BMA said: “Despite our efforts to work with the Secretary of State to resolve this dispute, the Government has failed to listen, leaving us with no option but to take more industrial action”.

She said: “The proposed strike by junior doctors will cause untold misery for patients who are going to see appointments and surgeries cancelled”. While most patients had greater trust in doctors than in government, “I think the public mood is probably shifting a little bit further away from the doctors now because it is not clear why the strikes are continuing when a deal was done at an earlier point”.

How will patients be affected?

But Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA council, blamed the “continued reluctance” of Mr Hunt to do “anything other than impose a contract on junior doctors”.

The BMA argues that the plan will fall heaviest on junior doctors who are charged with working on the weekends.

“It’s because the single unifying thread throughout every part of this dispute has been the insistence of the government on moving ahead without agreement”.

Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council, said the decision to announce five consecutive days of strike from 12 September was made after “long and hard debates”.

The General Medical Council (GMC) said the strikes were “unprecedented” and could endanger patients.

Britain’s most senior doctors have dramatically condemned plans by their junior colleagues for a series of five-day strikes.

Hunt has also come under criticism as their are rumours he has been given the green-light to begin a huge privatisation programme across the NHS, which many fear could the beginning of the end for universal free health care.

About 365 junior doctors from Addenbrooke’s went on strike during two-day industrial action in April – about three times the number of previous industrial action and 75 per cent of those eligible to strike. I put it to you that in any dispute, and this is a very grave and very tragic, very damaging and debilitating dispute, I put it to you that in any dispute of whatever nature, there are always two sides to an argument and that’s why the two sides need to get together to talk.

The dates were agreed in an urgent meeting of union leaders on Thursday.

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“We’re devastated that the government has not listened to junior doctors”, she said.

But the BMA said it was “absolutely behind” the decision for further action.

“We will look to redeploy consultant doctors to provide appropriate levels of cover for in-patient areas to ensure patients continue to receive safe, high-quality care”.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said around 100,000 operations will be cancelled and one million hospital appointments postponed in what would be “the worst strike in NHS history”.

BMA junior doctor leader Dr Ellen McCourt said the strikes could be called off if the government returned to the negotiating table and suspended the imposition of the new contract in October.