Junior doctor dispute: DH agrees to resume talks

5 May 16

The Department of Health has agreed to restart contract talks with junior doctors as part of a five-day pause in implementation of the new contract terms being brokered by Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

The AMRC, which represents medical faculties, said today that the ongoing contract dispute was causing “real difficulties” for patients.

Junior doctors took part in the first all-out strike in the history of the NHS last month, an escalation of industrial action following Hunt’s decision to impose the new contract.

The dispute, over changes to the junior doctor contract intended to improve care at evenings and weekends in the health service, has already seen doctors take action, although they have continued to provide emergency care.

The academy said that a five-day pause in implementation of the deal would allow talks to resume, and health secretary Jeremy Hunt today agreed to pause for five days from Monday 9 May should the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee agree to return to talks.

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, chair of the Academy of Medical Colleges called for a five-day pause without “ifs, buts or maybes” and urged the BMA to commit to talks.

“Before either side does anything else, all the 22 Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties are unanimously calling on the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, and the chair of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, Johann Malawana, to take a deep breath, dial down the rhetoric and get back to the table for talks facilitated, perhaps, by a senior independent figure.”

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