Planned doctors' strike averted as contract negotiations recommence

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Plans for industrial action by junior doctors today (December 1st 2015) have been suspended following an agreement to resume talks over doctors' contracts.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has held conciliatory talks with NHS Employers and the Department of Health and has agreed to suspend all strike action planned for December, while the government has backed down on its threat of imposing a new contract in trainees.

“The British Medical Association is recommencing negotiations with the government over doctors' contracts, meaning a planned strike this week has been cancelled.“

Originally, junior doctors in England were set to restrict their services to emergency care only for 24 hours from 08:00 today, but the BMA agreed to shelve this plan.

NHS Employers has also agreed to extend the timeframe for the BMA to commence any industrial action by four weeks to 17:00 on January 13th 2016 to allow negotiations to progress.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said: "A return to genuine negotiations is clearly preferable to the imposition of a new contract or industrial action."

In January, all parties involved in the negotiations will decide whether meaningful progress is being made, at which point the prospect of strike action could resurface.

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