Junior Doctors’ Protest: Talks To Resume

Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London (File)
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22 medical colleges and faculties cobble a proposal to end the deadlock over the junior doctors protest

Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London
Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London

BBC reported that a proposal to end the deadlock in the junior doctors’ dispute through fresh talks has been made. They want planning for the imposing of new junior doctors’ contracts in England to be postponed for five days. In return, the British Medical Association is asked to suspend for five days any new threats of strikes.

The new move will lead to talks resuming talks co-ordinated by the independent Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

“A five-day pause without ‘ifs, buts and maybes’ and with both sides in the dispute publicly committing to a serious attempt to reach a resolution through genuine dialogue is obviously the only way out of this impasse,” Prof Dame Sue Bailey, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges , which represents all of the UK’s 250,000 doctors.

The BMA said it was prepared to agree, but the government said it was too late to suspend bringing the contracts in.

However, the “door remains open” for talks, the Department of Health said.

The colleges’ joint statement, calling for what it calls a pause in the dispute so talks can resume, has been put out under the umbrella of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Talks over the controversial new contract broke down in February. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt accused the BMA of refusing to negotiate over Saturday pay and said he would press on with introducing the contract.

The BMA said there were wider unresolved issues over working hours and it was unfair to impose a contract rather than continuing discussions. Between January and early April there were four strikes by junior doctors in England affecting routine but not urgent care.