The BMA has launched a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the health secretary’s decision to impose the junior doctors’ contract.
It is based on the Government’s failure to pay due regard to the equalities impact prior to imposition.
Junior doctors also strongly criticised the Government’s decision to publish the contract on the NHS Employers website.
BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana said it represented a ‘total failure’ on the Government’s part.
Dr Malawana said: ‘Instead of meaningfully negotiating with the BMA to reach an agreement that would be in the best interest of patients, junior doctors and the NHS, the Government walked away, rejecting a fair and affordable offer by the BMA.
‘It has since continued wilfully ignoring the mounting chorus of concern, from doctors, patients and senior NHS managers — the very people who use and provide NHS services.
‘In trying to push through these changes, prior to imposing a new contract, the Government failed to give proper consideration to the equalities impact this contract could have on junior doctors.
‘So, today, the BMA has issued proceedings to launch a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the health secretary’s decision to impose the new junior doctor contract.
‘The Government’s shambolic mishandling of the process, from start to finish, has alienated a generation of doctors — the hospital doctors and GPs of the future — leaving a real risk that some will vote with their feet and the future of patient care will be affected.’
Dr Malawana said the Government needed to enter meaningful negotiations rather than political posturing.
He said: ‘For the sake of patients, doctors and the future of the NHS, the Government must put politics to one side, lift the imposition and address, rather than ignore, junior doctors’ outstanding concerns.’