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Junior doctors enter talks with Government in bid to end pay dispute

By PA News

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Junior doctors in England have entered “mediated talks” with the Government with a view to ending a long-running dispute over pay.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said that its junior doctors’ committee had entered a new “intensive phase of talks” with the Government which is being facilitated by an external mediator.

Junior doctors have staged a series of walkouts over the past year as part of a campaign by the BMA calling for pay restoration.

In a statement, co-chairs of the committee Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said: “We have been in dispute for more than a year with the Government over declining junior doctor pay, exploring various avenues to try and resolve it.

“We have been looking at ways of restoring trust between parties and believe that an independent mediator can help break the logjam.

“We hope to reach a credible solution as soon as possible”

The union said on X, formerly Twitter, that it hoped that the talks would “break the logjam and gain a credible pay offer for 23/24”.

Junior doctors have staged 10 rounds of strike action since the dispute began.

The latest ballot of medics suggested that they had no plans to end the walk outs after 98% voted to continue strike action.

Doctors also approved the use of action short of strikes.

Junior doctors on the picket line outside St Thomas’ Hospital, central London in February (PA)
Junior doctors on the picket line outside St Thomas’ Hospital, central London in February (PA)

The health service has been beset by strikes for more than a year, with walkouts from a number of different staff including doctors, nurses, paramedics and physiotherapists.

NHS England said in March that since strikes began in December 2022, some 1,424,269 inpatient and outpatient appointments had been rescheduled.

The last strike by junior doctors – from February 24 to 28 this year – led to 91,048 appointments, operations and procedures being postponed.

The Department for Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

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