Wave of five-day junior doctor strikes through 2016 confirmed by BMA

BMA leaders have confirmed the dates for a wave of unprecedented five-day strikes by junior doctors to run each month until the end of 2016.

Junior doctors confirmed earlier this week that they would resume strike action with a five-day strike later this month, but the BMA has now confirmed three further dates for action.

Five-day junior doctor strikes will now take place on each of the following dates:

  • 12 - 16 September
  • 5, 6 and 7 October (weekend covered) and then 10 - 11 October
  • 14 - 18 November
  • 5 - 9 December

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said earlier this week that the government would press ahead with plans to impose a new contract on junior doctors, despite 58% of the profession voting against the deal on offer in July. The government has said it will impose the contract from October.

Junior doctor strikes

BMA junior doctors committee chair Dr Ellen McCourt said: 'Junior doctors still have serious concerns with the contract, particularly that it will fuel the current workforce crisis, and that it fails to treat all doctors fairly.

'Since July, the BMA has made repeated attempts to work with the government to address the concerns that junior doctors have raised about the contract. Genuine efforts to resolve the dispute through talks have been met with an unwillingness to engage and, at times, deafening silence from the health secretary, leaving junior doctors with no choice but to take further action. This is despite a pledge from Jeremy Hunt that his door is always open.'

Dr McCourt said the government had failed to explain how it would staff the seven-day NHS service it has pledged to create. She added: 'We have a simple ask of the government: stop the imposition. If it agrees to do this, junior doctors will call off industrial action.'

Junior doctor contract

A DH spokeswoman said this week: 'As doctors’ representatives, the BMA should be putting patients first not playing politics in a way that will be immensely damaging for vulnerable patients.

'What’s more, the BMA must be the first union in history to call for strike action against a deal they themselves negotiated and said was a good one.

'Whilst there are many pressures on the frontline, funding is at record levels, with the highest number of doctors employed in the history of the NHS. Co-operation not confrontation is the way forward to make sure patients get the best treatment and the NHS is there for people whenever they need it.'

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