Junior doctors to walk out over new contracts

Junior doctors and medical students protest against the proposed changes to their contracts during a rally in Victoria Gardens, Leeds.Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
Junior doctors and medical students protest against the proposed changes to their contracts during a rally in Victoria Gardens, Leeds.Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
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Junior doctors will take strike action next week after talks failed to settle a dispute over changes to their contracts.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said junior doctors would take strike action for the first time in 40 years.

On Tuesday, January 12, a 24-hour strike from 8am will involve all junior doctors except those on call to provide emergency cover.

Then a 48-hour strike, also not involving doctors on emergency cover, will run from 8am on Tuesday, January 26.

A third strike will then see all junior doctors walk out between 8am and 5pm on Wednesday, February 10.

The BMA said on its website: “We re-entered talks with NHS Employers and the Department of Health in December around the junior doctors’ contract dispute.

“Those talks ended on Monday, January 4 and, regrettably, without the significant progress we were seeking. As a result, junior doctors in England will be taking industrial action for the first time in 40 years.”

Junior doctors held a huge protest in Leeds in October against contract changes they said would lead to unsafe working hours and pay cuts for medics.

The BMA secured a huge mandate in favour of action, with 98 per cent voting to strike in a ballot of 37,000 members.

Strike action was first called for December, but was suspended while talks were held with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).