Responding to claims from sources linked to the Health Secretary that the junior doctors strike in England is about bringing down the government, the junior doctor committee co-chairs, Dr Rob Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:
“The junior doctors strike in England is not aimed at ‘bringing down’ the Government as sources close to Steve Barclay are suggesting; our focus is on bringing the Government to the table to find a way of restoring 15 years’ worth of underpayment in real terms. The Prime Minister could end this dispute today with a credible offer to address the pay doctors have had taken from their pockets over the last 15 years. A change of Government wouldn’t end this dispute, only a fair pay deal will. This is the same Government which on the one hand says it accepts the findings of the Pay Review Body this year, but in previous years blocked their recommendation to pay junior doctors extra for their work in the pandemic and reneging on a clause the Government set in the multi-year pay deal.
“This Government and the Health Secretary have grown increasingly intransigent, belligerent and unwilling to talk about how we can end this dispute, and indeed are now expending more energy on making spurious claims about the reasons for our legitimate campaign, than they are about settling the dispute. Steve Barclay has singularly failed to make any significant steps towards ending this dispute and as he continues to posture and pontificate, the waiting list goes up and more patients see their treatment delayed. What he and the Prime Minister should be doing is getting back round the table with us to find a way of ending this dispute.”
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.