Politics

Junior doctors call five-day strike just before election

Junior doctors call five-day strike just before election

The prime minister has suggested the BMA’s announcement could be “politically motivated”.

Speaking at a campaign event in Devon, he said: “It’s hard to escape that conclusion, given the timing and to call a strike in an election campaign, especially as we found a constructive resolution with the remainder of the NHS workforce.”

He said junior doctors had already been offered a pay deal worth “on average a 10% increase”.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said: “The next Labour government will negotiate with junior doctors to bring these strikes to an end.”

Strike action by junior doctors has also been taking place in Northern Ireland with another walkout planned in early June.

Walkouts in Wales are on hold as talks take place.

Junior doctors have not been on strike in Scotland after they accepted a pay offer from the government there.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said the news of fresh strike action was a “worrying escalation” of the dispute.

“This strike will inevitably hit patients hard,” she said.

“As always, trust leaders and their teams will do everything they can to protect patient safety.

“They will spend countless hours preparing for the walkout, which includes cancelling and rescheduling appointments. This is time they would prefer to spend improving patient care and tackling sky-high waiting lists.”

Nearly 1.5 million appointments and operations have been cancelled because of strike action in the NHS in England at an estimated cost of ยฃ3bn.

Consultants, nurses and midwives alongside other non-medical staff have all accepted pay offers over the past 12 months in England.


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