Following the end of strikes by junior doctors in England on 9th January, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:
“Junior doctors are ready to settle this dispute once and for all. Victoria Atkins on Monday evening said she’s keen to deliver a “fair and reasonable” outcome. We are ready to talk about that fair outcome at her earliest convenience. No strikes are currently scheduled and now is her moment to come forward with a credible offer that delivers the reasonable outcome of pay restoration.
“Up and down the country this past week we have seen extraordinary public and patient support even while the Government has continued to try to undermine and vilify the movement for pay restoration. It has also been extremely disappointing to see hospital trusts use exaggerated requests or providing incomplete and inaccurate information on staffing levels in order to get junior doctors back to work during this strike. This has undermined a process which has previously worked well to enable NHS workers to strike while efficiently ensuring patient safety. None of this, of course, would be necessary if a credible offer had been made and strikes could have been averted in the first place.
“Our mandate for strike action lasts until the end of February. We know from both our own experience and the experience of other professionals that our Government only seems to listen when we have a mandate for strike action. We will prepare to extend that mandate in case we need to strike in the future. But the Government does not have to let it get to the point of more strikes being called. Instead of passing the unhappy milestone of a year of strikes, we could this spring instead be celebrating a deal which will restore the value of our profession and bolster recruitment and retention. It is up to them.”
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.