latest health care news


Royal College calls for resolution to junior doctors’ dispute without further strikes

Junior doctors and the government have been urged to reach an agreement in their ongoing contract dispute without further strikes.

The NHS has suffered this year from a series of strikes by doctors over pay and working hours.

The British Medical Association (BMA) and the government agreed the terms of a new contract, but it was announced yesterday that BMA members voted to reject it.

In a joint response, Professor Derek Bell, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and Dr Katherine Walesby, chair of its trainees’ committee, said: “While it is disappointing that negotiations have not reached a successful conclusion, we must recognise that progress was made when all parties returned to talks earlier this year.  We hope that cooperation can continue to enable an urgent resolution without further delay or industrial action.

“We know that many trainees had concerns that they felt hadn’t been addressed by the proposed junior contract. 

“To address these, we must have a junior contract that values the essential role that trainees play in our NHS, and one that is fair to all, including those working less than full time, those taking time out to study, and those working in all medical specialities, including undertaking research and other academic pursuits.”

They also said that trainees must be “protected” following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, which could lead to changes in working hours regulations.

The Academy of Royal Colleges helped broker the talks between the BMA and the government.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “On behalf of the patients of this country, we are shocked and dismayed at the prospect of the possible continuation of this dispute, especially as we had publically called on the BMA members to vote positively and accept the new agreement.

“The Patients Association believes that the public should have easy access to quality care on a 24/7 basis. The NHS is a publically tax funded service and should be built around the needs of patients. Patients need to have the confidence that they can easily access care when they require it.

“We recognise that junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS, but it is vital that they are available to provide the safe and effective care that patients need. Patients and the NHS cannot face any prospect of further strike action. There have been no winners in this ongoing dispute, instead it’s patients who have been the losers.”

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

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.



There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >


Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

17/02/2020Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

Independent consultant and strategic advisor Dean Royles continues his series on The Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership. You can find links to his previous pieces here. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >