Junior doctors to strike for five days next month in 'longest single period of industrial action in history of NHS' | The Sun

JUNIOR doctors in England will strike for five days next month.

It is thought to be the longest single period of industrial action in the history of the NHS, the British Medical Association said.

The walkout over wages and staffing will begin at 7am on July 13, it was confirmed today.

A BMA spokesperson said: "We won’t give up until junior doctors are fairly paid."

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the junior doctors committee, added: "It has been almost a week since the last round of strikes finished but not once have we heard from Rishi Sunak or Steve Barclay in terms of reopening negotiations since their collapse of our talks and cancelling all scheduled meetings a month ago.

"What better indication of how committed they are to ending this dispute could we have?


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"As their refusal to even discuss pay restoration leads to continued disruption to the health service, more than four-fifths of junior doctors report finding their patients supportive – they understand the value of a fully staffed and resourced NHS.

"We are announcing the longest single walkout by doctors in the NHS’s history – but this is not a record that needs to go into the history books.

"Even now the Government can avert our action by coming to the table with a credible offer on pay restoration."

The association previously said it would not settle for anything less than a 35 per cent pay rise, but now accepts it will be lower.

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Health Secretary Steve Barclay insisted it was in his interests to resolve the dispute, but said there “needs to be movement on both sides”.

The BMA's last round of strikes, staged last week, led to almost 33,000 hospital appointments and procedures being cancelled in London alone, and 100,000 in total.

An average of 4,566 doctors walked out in the capital – the worst-affected region.

Since December, more than 650,000 routine operations and appointments in England have had to be rescheduled due to industrial action, according to NHS Providers.

Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy, said: "This is right across already overstretched hospital, ambulance, mental health and community services.

"Strikes cannot become ‘business as usual’ for trusts and patients.

"Trusts have had to deal with seven consecutive months of disruptive and demoralising industrial action in the NHS and leaders are working hard to prepare for a possible eighth.

"Trust leaders and their staff continue to pull out all the stops to cushion the impact of strikes, with patient safety the top priority, but they are worried about the long-term effects on patients who have their care delayed at a time when waiting lists are already at record levels, the impact on staff morale and the rising cost of paying to provide cover.

"While ministers and the doctors’ union aren’t talking, patients pay the price of the standoff."

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Today's announcement was made as a BMA survey showed that junior doctors report being inundated with more opportunities to move abroad in the last four months than ever before.

Just over half of the nearly 2,000 surveyed said they have received more job advertisements from recruiters to overseas jobs since strikes were confirmed.

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