Junior doctors strike suspended, BMA leaders announce

Junior doctors strikes planned for next week have been suspended, the BMA has announced.

The doctors union said the decision came as talks with the government through the mediation service ACAS were continuing.

Junior doctors had planned to follow last week’s 24-hour action with a 48-hour walkout by all juniors providing non-emergency cover starting on 26 January.

Union leaders warned that significant differences with ministers still existed and that progress would need to be made to avert a planned all-out strike on 10 February.

Junior doctor strikes

BMA junior doctor committee chairman 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 on early progress 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 doctors’ 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.’

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