Commenting on the meeting today between leaders of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee and Department of Health and Social Care civil servants, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi – co-Chairs of the junior doctors’ committee - said,
“We have held discussions with the Health Secretary’s officials today. We are very disappointed that Steve Barclay decided not to attend. There was no offer on the table and the Department made it clear they are not ready to enter negotiations but we left the Department of Health civil servants in no doubt that it is still not too late to avert a strike by tens of thousands of junior doctors in England. Ministers have been all too aware of the severity of the issues facing junior doctors for months, and for months we have been warning that strike action was a very real prospect so it is more than disappointing that nothing constructive is on the table.
"We have now written to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay asking to meet with him within the next 24 hours; frankly, he has dragged his heels for far too long. The Government has agreed to enter a process of intensive talks with other unions but the strength of feeling of our junior doctor members is being resolutely ignored. Every day that passes without the Government beginning negotiations with us is a day that more exhausted doctors might leave the NHS, more patients don’t get the quality of care they need and the crisis in the NHS deepens even more."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.