Junior doctors offer Rishi Sunak ‘final chance’ to avoid strike action

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Thursday 20 June 2024
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Junior doctors have today given Rishi Sunak one last chance to avert upcoming planned strikes by committing to a pay deal.

With a week until walk outs begin, the Prime Minister only need make a commitment in writing to a path to pay restoration that could be implemented should he form the next government.

Pointing out that more money has been spent on strikes than resolving it would have cost, they say the PM’s attitude has made “zero financial sense”.

In the letter sent on Wednesday to Mr Sunak the BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi point out that waiting lists have been rising in recent months while no strikes have taken place, even as the PM attempts to blame strikes for his failure to reduce them.  

Despite this approach from the PM, they provide him “with a final chance to do the right thing and avert the upcoming strike action.”

“We are not asking for the world,” continues the letter. “A doctor currently starts on £15.53 per hour and we are asking for that to be restored to what a doctor was worth in 2008, which would be £21.58 per hour.” They remind the PM the process could process could happen over time rather than in one go.

The co-chairs offer to call off strikes, currently planned for 5 days from the 27 June, if they get a commitment “in writing to a detailed pathway that will restore our pay in the form of a comprehensive deal that will be implemented if you are able to form the next Government.”

The PM is challenged to take this opportunity to deliver for patients and doctors, investing in the NHS and addressing the current staff retention crisis.

Notes to editors

The letter is here.

Strike dates in England are 0700, 27 June to 0700, 2 July.  


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.