Still Time For Government To Stop Strikes If It Puts Forward ‘Credible’ Final Offer, Says BMA

Responding to comments made by that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care suggesting that junior doctors walked out of talks before an offer was made, Dr Emma Runswick, BMA deputy chair, said: “Victoria Atkins and the DHSC were aware of our deadline for a credible offer, but this is not the time to look back, we have to move forward now. If Mrs Atkins believes the final offer which was held back is credible, there’s still time for it to be put on the table, end the dispute, and stop the upcoming strike action.

”The BMA has been clear that Trusts are given sufficient notice of the strike dates and it is for them to ensure there is adequate and appropriate staffing in place to meet the levels of care provided. As with all other strike action taken by juniors doctors, those doctors not taking industrial action – consultants, specialty and specialist doctors, as well as non-striking junior doctors, can provide cover ensuring that urgent and emergency care can continue to run.

“This month’s industrial action comes because of this Government failing to so far provide junior doctors with a credible pay offer and failing to address the unprecedented staffing crisis that is engulfing our NHS and value doctors for the work they do. Their persistent mishandling and under-resourcing of our health service has been causing unnecessary risk of harm; last winter, there was a sharp rise in excess deaths, a period when there were no doctor strikes. Ministers should be looking to make sure that our health service is safely staffed for 365 days a year.

“We are serious about ensuring that patients can receive high-quality care this Christmas, and for many more to come.”