BMA 'very surprised' by NHS Confederation's 'bizarre' proposal to halt junior doctors strikes

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 12 June 2024
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Responding to calls from NHS Confederation1 for junior doctors strikes in England to be called off in exchange for a commitment to talks from the main political parties should they win the General Election, Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs, said:

"We’re very surprised that NHS Confederation has not approached us directly to discuss this bizarre proposal, and how little it understands about what is needed to settle this dispute and what led to the most recent talks breaking down. Matthew Taylor is wrong to say we called this strike because talks were put on hold for the election – we called a strike because of repeated failures by the Government to make a credible offer.

"This misunderstanding is perhaps due to NHS Confederation’s lack of awareness of the doctors’ grievances that has led to this dispute – which NHS Confederation has played its own part in exacerbating. And we must ask, after 20 months: why is it making this empty intervention now?

"Let us be clear: these strikes can be stopped right now, by the Prime Minister making a public commitment to restoring doctors’ pay that we find credible.

"While we would welcome all parties’ recognition of the need to fix doctors’ pay erosion, 20 months into this dispute, the promise of further talks that go nowhere, and extend this dispute unnecessarily, will not be enough for junior doctors."

Ends

Notes to editors

1. Please contact NHS Confederation for details.

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.