The BMA has confirmed that junior doctors in England will take further industrial action, from September.
Junior doctors will stage a full withdrawal of labour for five days, between the hours of 8am and 5pm from Monday 12 September – Friday 16 September inclusive, followed by further dates to be confirmed.
This follows a vote by junior doctors in July to reject the proposed contract, and repeated attempts by the BMA over the past two months to work constructively with the government to address the outstanding areas of concern. Despite this, the government is refusing to acknowledge junior doctors’ concerns and is continuing with plans to impose the contract in October.
Key concerns raised by junior doctors include the impact that the contract will have on those working less than full time, a majority of whom are women, and the impact it will have on junior doctors working the most weekends, typically in specialties where there is already a shortage of doctors.
The government has said that a new contract is needed to deliver more seven-day services when the department of health’s own documents show that the NHS does not have a plan as to how it will staff or fund further seven-day services.
This comes at a time when concerns have been raised about staff shortages across the NHS and hospitals in Chorley, Grantham and Stafford have been forced to close A&E departments or limit access because they don’t have enough staff to deliver safe care.
The BMA believes that progress was made during talks in May, and is calling for the government to lift the imposition and restart meaningful talks to agree a contract that is adequately funded, fit for purpose, delivers for patients and has the confidence of the profession.