A health chief has warned that January’s strike will put patients at risk as it “appears that the BMA won’t enter talks’ unless the government commits to providing “extra money” for junior doctors.
After a three day walkout junior doctors have returned back to work and they are demanding a 35% pay rise, to which the government has said this will not happen.
On 3 January the junior doctors will stage the longest strike in the NHS history and NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor is urging the government and the BMS to avert the dangerous action.
January’s strike would be a different matter, he said, “Six days of strike action following bank holiday at a time of enormous pressure, there are real issues around patient safety and we don’t have in place national derogations, which we have had for other strikes.
“So yes, there will be an impact on the backlog, but I also have real concerns about patient safety over these days.”
Taylor continued, “It appears that the BMA won’t enter talks unless the Government commits to some extra money, the Government won’t go into talks until the BMA calls off the strikes.
“This is not a time for standing on ceremony. This is a time for people to get around the table.
“It isn’t too late to head off those strikes in January.”
He added, “In a sense, neither side wants to blink first, as though that would be a sign of weakness.
“I think, from the perspective of the public, patients, or other people who work in the NHS, anyone who moved first, I think, will get a great deal of credit for that.
“So I would call on both sides to show a bit of imagination and get into talks.”