BMA suspends junior doctors' strike action over patient safety fears


The BMA has suspended industrial action by junior doctors in England after concerns about patient safety.

The strikes had been scheduled for October 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11, November 14 to 18 and December 5 to 9.

Dr Ellen McCourt, chair of the BMA junior doctors committee, said the decision had been taken "in light of feedback from doctors, patients and the public, and following a passionate, thoughtful and wide-ranging debate amongst junior doctors".

The Government and BMA remain at loggerheads over the new contract for junior doctors, which the Department of Health says will help to provide a seven-day NHS.

Six strikes have already taken place across England during the lengthy dispute, causing disruption to hundreds of thousands of patients who have had appointments and operations cancelled.

Dr McCourt vowed "our fight does not end here" adding: "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."