Jeremy Hunt wins High Court battle with junior doctors over contract


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has won a High Court fight with junior doctors over a staffing contract.

Junior doctors had complained that Hunt wrongly imposed the contract on NHS employers.

Justice for Health, a group founded by five doctors, said Hunt acted beyond the scope of his powers by compelling NHS employers to adopt the new deal.

Hunt said the complaint was without substance.

(Peter Byrne/PA)

Justice Green, who analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London last week, ruled in favour of Hunt on Wednesday.

Justice for Health - founded by Dr Nadia Masood, Dr Ben White, Dr Fran Silman, Dr Amar Mashru and Dr Marie-Estella McVeigh - said Hunt's decision to impose the contract lacked a sound or rational foundation and should be quashed.

Hunt said he approved a new contract but has not imposed it on employers or compelled them to adopt it.

The litigation follows opposition to Hunt's plans for seven-day NHS services in England.

Justice for Health team (Laura Dale/PA)
(Laura Dale/PA)

Junior doctors began strikes, the longest of which has lasted two days, in January.

The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, has suspended industrial action by junior doctors planned for October, November and December.