Young doctors will carry out new strikes in wage line

Young doctors in England will stage a new round of strikes after talks with the government failed to resolve a bitter dispute over pay.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said a 96-hour strike will take place for shifts starting between 06:59 on Tuesday April 11 and 06:59 on Saturday April 15.

The BMA said Health Secretary Steve Barclay had made no “credible offer”, accusing the government of not being serious about resolving the dispute.

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA junior medical committee, said: “It is with disappointment and great frustration that we must announce this new industry action.

“The Government has delayed at every opportunity. He has made no credible offer and refuses to accept that there is any case for wage restoration, describing our central request as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unreasonable’.

“Even yesterday they continued to add new unacceptable preconditions to the talks instead of going ahead and trying to find a solution.

“Therefore, we are not confident that, without further action, these negotiations can be successful.

“This situation is entirely the work of the Government itself.

“We want to spend our time caring for patients, not on strike, but with an NHS caving in the face of a workforce crisis and four in 10 young doctors looking to leave, we cannot stand by while our pay is further reduced by the inflation and an intransigent government.

“We’re not going to stop until we’re paid what we’re worth, and if ministers don’t agree to that when we tell them in person, we’ll have to tell them from the picket line.”

Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, said: “The prospect of a 96-hour strike by junior doctors will ring alarm bells for trusted leaders across the country.

“It would be immediately after a four-day holiday weekend, which means demand will have built up before the strike begins on April 11. There will be no exemptions either.

“This threatens the biggest disruption to NHS strikes yet. There should be no question about the scale of the impact on patients, staff and the NHS. Nobody wants this.

“It is very disappointing that talks between the government and the doctors’ unions have broken down.

“Trusted leaders understand why young doctors feel they have been pushed to this point, but it is incumbent on all involved to urgently re-enter good faith talks.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This hugely disappointing news will be a blow to efforts by leaders to address the backlog and further industry action will have a significant impact on patient care.

“Leaders had expected progress and a similar outcome to the Agenda for Change negotiations with the unions, so the news of another longer strike is a major setback for plans. Unfortunately, this inevitably has an impact on the safety and dignity of the patient.

“The level of disruption caused by the latest young doctors strike was greater than all other recent strikes combined, so leaders will be shocked by a repeat and concerned about the impact on patient care, particularly just after Easter week.

“Based on last time, it seems likely that up to a quarter of a million appointments and operations will need to be postponed as a result of this next wave of strikes.

“Complicating matters further is the fact that leaders are unlikely to be able to call consultants back in the same way to fill shift gaps, as many have accumulated licenses to provide cover for the first few weeks. strikes.

“This represents a huge challenge for services that are already overburdened by being so understaffed, so another strike poses a real risk to patient safety.

“We know that no one wants to take industrial action and choosing to strike is not a decision anyone takes lightly, but we encourage young doctors to think more about the potential damage a four-day strike could cause and what it will mean. for patients

“That said, the government must act decisively to provide a significant incentive for young doctors to reconsider and come back to the table.

“Digging and lengthening this does not favor anyone, especially the patients, so a quick solution must be found; both parties must be willing to make concessions for that to happen.”

Young doctors from the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) will go on strike on the same days.

The union, which represents some 600 doctors-in-training, accused the government of refusing to drop preconditions for talks to resolve the conflict.

HCSA President Dr Naru Narayanan said: “HCSA wrote to Steve Barclay last week advising him that his pre-conditions presented an insurmountable barrier to us coming to the table to find a resolution.

“It is hugely disappointing that the Government has seen fit to ignore the overwhelming support among young doctors for this dispute fueled by year after year of pay cuts in real terms.

“This is not about unions not playing ball, this is about a complacent understatement of the strength of sentiment on the ground and the impact that steadily declining wages is having on services.

“This is in a different league than anything we’ve seen before. Young doctors have told us they want to see real action on long-term pay cuts to prevent the growing plague of staff shortages we are seeing and prevent colleagues from going abroad or from our NHS.

“To resolve this dispute, the government must leave the theater, make a sincere commitment and recognize the long-term danger to the NHS and health services if we do not recruit the doctors we need.”


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