Junior doctors strike cancelled as talks continue

Junior doctors pictured on the picket line at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Strike DRI MC 1

Junior doctors pictured on the picket line at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Strike DRI MC 1

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The British Medical Association, (BMA), has suspended the junior doctor’s strike which was originally planned for next week.

The decision to suspend the action, which was due to take place between January 26 and 28, comes as Acas talks continue this week between the BMA and the Government on the junior doctor contract.

Junior doctor strike at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

Junior doctor strike at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

However, a further strike planned for February 10 is still due to take place, unless talks are successful.

Hospitals across South Yorkshire offered reduced services last Tuesday, January 12, when junior doctors first walked out.

Patients in Sheffield and Doncaster had their operations postponed or rearranged, as doctors took to the picket lane and provided emergency care only until 8am on January 13.

BMA junior doctor committee chair, Dr Johann Malawana, said: “The BMA’s aim has always been to deliver a safe, fair junior doctor contract through negotiated agreement.

“Following junior doctors’ clear message to the Government during last week’s action, our focus is now on building onprogress made in the current set of talks.

“On this basis, the BMA has today taken the decision to suspend the industrial action planned for 26-28 January, thereby giving Trusts as much notice as possible so as to avoid disruption to patients.

“It is important to be clear, however, that differences still exist between the BMA and the Government on key areas, including the protection of patient safety and doctor’s working lives, and the recognition of unsocial hours.

“Significant, concrete progress will need to be made if future action, currently planned for 10 February, is to be averted.”