Worthing MP welcomes suspension of junior doctors’ strikes

Election count. Sir Peter Bottomley - West Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150805-130839008
Election count. Sir Peter Bottomley - West Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150805-130839008

The suspension of strike action planned by junior doctors has been welcomed by Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley.

The British Medical Association (BMA) had previously announced full walkouts to take place in October, November, and December as part of a dispute with the Government over the imposition of new contracts.

Sir Peter said: “Everyone will welcome the announcement that doctors in training will not now strike.

“We thank the BMA members who have privately advised their negotiators to settle issues without repeated risk to patients.

“The new contract is better than the old one.

“There are non-pay issues that can be discussed with NHS Employers.

“There is the prospect of working arrangements that are better for patients, for doctors and for the hospitals that bring them together.”

Ellen McCourt, mnewly elected chair of the BMA junior doctor committee, said: “In light of feedback from doctors, patients and the public, and following a passionate, thoughtful and wide-ranging debate amongst junior doctors, the BMA has taken the decision to suspend planned industrial action.

“We still oppose the imposition of the contract and are now planning a range of other actions in order to resist it, but patient safety is doctors’ primary concern and so it is right that we listen and respond to concerns about the ability of the NHS to maintain a safe service.

“We hope the government will seize this opportunity to engage with junior doctors and listen to the range of voices from across the NHS raising concerns about doctors’ working lives and the impact of the contract on patient care.

“ If the NHS cannot attract and keep those doctors on whose dedication and professional skills it relies, there will be no recognisable health service in England.

“Our fight does not end here. For many people this whole dispute has turned on how the NHS will assure quality care over seven days. It has highlighted the need for an open and honest debate led by the BMA on how this will be achieved.

“We call on our colleagues across the medical profession, other healthcare professionals, and the government and patient groups to engage with junior doctors on this.”

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