Junior doctors shelve strike plans to allow further talks

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Strike action by thousands of junior doctors has been suspended so talks can continue, the Government and the British Medical Association (BMA) have announced.

All three strikes planned by the BMA - including a walkout tomorrow - have been suspended in order to return negotiations.

In return, the Government has agreed to suspend its threat to impose a new contract on doctors.

If the fresh round of talks break down, the BMA still has the right to hold its strikes before a deadline of January 13.

A spokesman for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), which has been hosting the talks, said: "Following five days of productive talks under the auspices of Acas, the BMA, NHS Employers and the Department of Health have reached an agreement.

"Acas is pleased that the talks have been held in a constructive manner and cooperative spirit between the parties, that will allow an improvement in industrial relations."