latest health care news

06.05.16

BMA confirm they are re-entering talks with government

Junior doctors’ representatives have agreed to suspend the threat of strike action for five days and re-enter talks with the government in order to try to break the impasse over a controversial new contract.

The British Medical Association (BMA) confirmed it has accepted health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s new offer to suspend the imposition of the contract for five days, starting from Monday, if they agree to return to the negotiating table.

The bitter dispute has led to five strikes so far and the threat of indefinite strike action as both sides refuse to compromise.

Dr Johann Malawana, chair of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, said: “Junior doctors have said since the outset that we want to reach a negotiated agreement, and have repeatedly urged the government to re-enter talks.

“As suggested by the Academy, we are keen to restart talks with an open mind. It is critical to find a way forward on all the outstanding issues - which are more than just pay - and hope that a new offer is made that can break the impasse.”

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, welcomed the announcement, saying: “It is important now that both sides of this impasse seek to resolve their differences. There is now a joint responsibility for both organisations to stop this deadlock now. Both sides have a duty to put patients and the public first.

“This is brave and the right thing for both sides to do. There have been no winners in this ongoing dispute, and it’s patients who have been the losers.”

However, in a House of Lords debate yesterday, Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Walmsley said that the talks were “really rather too late”, adding: “The Secretary of State has already lost the trust not only of junior doctors but of a very large percentage of the general public. It has to be said that the BMA has also lost the trust of a certain percentage of the public.”

In an exclusive article for NHE last week, Emeritus Professor W Angus Wallace warned that the dispute is in danger of destroying the NHS as we know it.

(Image c. Ben Birchall from PA Wire/ Press Association Images)

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Comments

Terry Nicholson   07/05/2016 at 13:36

7/7 not 5/7 So the conflict over how to change our NHS to a seven day week system is set to continue, as does also the blame game. All I know that from my family’s tragic experience the longer this conflict exist and the more acrid it becomes the total of weekend victims will continue . May I first of all put aside the myth that all patients entering hospital on a Friday have to do so because for them it is an emergency. From my experience I found the reverse to be more true, that entering hospital on a Friday it is more likely the outcome will develop into an emergency situation. My Mother entered a NHS DERRIFORD Hospital in Plymouth, our home town, on a Friday morning for a pre-arranged minor operation requiring only an overnight stay. The outcome was that on a Sunday she died in utter and prolonged agony caused by peritonitis due to leaking clip/micro surgery. So over the weekend it went from having a minor op to then my brothers and I being asked to give our consent to have Mum’s life support system switched off..Mum died not long after. I shall never forget how helpless I felt at the time and being racked by guilt afterwards about could I have done more to have saved her. If that wasn’t traumatic enough my brothers and I set out to discover what went wrong and why. We were denied an internal review. Only option left was to take it to the Ombudsman who after a complaints process involving us and lasting three years. Finally the Ombudsman upheld our complaint , classed it as Avoidable and recommended a number of changes to be made. The first one being having more staff and a better structure available at weekends. Which they promised to do. All of this was done with effort to avoid this happening again, but fate wasn’t going to let us off that easy. As a few years later I read to my dismay that another patient had died in the same circumstances in the same hospital as Mum over a weekend period. I again wrote to the Ombudsman to draw his attention to the similarities between this case and my Mum’s. Her relatives chose to take the legal route. So a curse on this five day week flawed system an all that seek to prolong it. Please if I may think carefully if you have a Friday’s appointment. Terry ,Cirencester, Glos PS Terry, Perhaps you ought to mention that up to this point your Mum was extremely strong and healthy, both in body and mind. JENNY.

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