Search

Junior doctors walk out in third strike over contract

Junior Doctors on strike outside Queen's Hospital in Romford

Junior Doctors on strike outside Queen's Hospital in Romford

Archant

Junior doctors working at Queen’s and King George Hospitals are joining a national strike in a row with the Government over a new contract.

More than 5,000 operations and procedures across England have been cancelled ahead of the 48-hour strike which began at 8am this morning (Wednesday).

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced he will impose the contract on junior doctors - everyone up to consultant level - after months of talks with the British Medical Association (BMA) failed to reach a resolution.

Junior doctors will provide emergency care only today and tomorrow with two further 48-hour strikes planned from 8am on April 8 and April 26.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Hospitals Trust which runs Queen’s Hospital Romford and King George Hospital Goodmayes, said: “Our overriding priority is to ensure we continue to provide high standards of patient safety and care at all times.

“We are contacting all patients whose appointment or elective surgery will be affected, and we are working hard to put in place measures which will enable us to make real-time assessments of staffing levels on the strike days, so we can ensure a quick response to any issues which develop.

“Junior doctors are a very important part of our multi-disciplinary teams and we value the huge contribution they make to patient care.”

The third strike by the BMA comes as an Ipsos MORI poll for BBC News found 65 per cent of members of the public support the doctors’ cause.

The survey found most people still think the Government is most at fault for the dispute, but a rising number believe equal blame should be shared by the Government and doctors’ leaders.

Dr Anne Rainsberry, national incident director for NHS England, said: “This is clearly going to be a difficult couple of days. A 48-hour strike will put significantly more pressure on the NHS and the cumulative effect of these recurring strikes is likely to take a toll.

“The safety and care of patients is always our number one priority and staff across the NHS are doing all they can to minimise the impact on patients of the action.”

Where possible, patients are being asked to contact their GP, seek advice from their local pharmacist, call 111 or check the NHS Choices website.

In an emergency, people should still call 999 or go to A&E.

The major sticking point has been over weekend pay and whether Saturdays should attract extra “unsocial” payments.

Currently, 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and the whole of Saturday and Sunday attracts a premium rate of pay for junior doctors.

The Government wanted the Saturday day shift to be paid at a normal rate in return for a hike in basic pay.

The BMA rejected this and urged Mr Hunt to reduce the offer of basic pay and instead have better premium rates on Saturdays.

The imposed contract, which is due to come into force in August, has an increase in basic salary of 13.5%.

Under the new arrangements, Mr Hunt said no doctor working contracted hours would see a pay cut while too many night shifts and long shifts will be limited.

But 7am to 5pm on Saturdays will be regarded as a normal working day.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Patients have so far seen more than 19,000 operations cancelled as a result of the BMA’s irresponsible and unjustified industrial action.

“The new contract, 90 per cent of which was agreed with the BMA and endorsed by senior NHS leaders, is a very good deal for doctors and the NHS.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

12:00

A macabre tale of murder fronted by a barber who uses his snipping skills to deadly effect may not sound like your usual night at the theatre, but it’s music to the ears of a talented theatrical group looking to bring audiences something just a bit different.

A fitness firm that operates leisure centres in the borough is celebrating its 30th annual swimathon and encourages people to help it raise vital charity cash.

Yesterday, 18:00

With World Book Day fast approaching, test your knowledge of some of the globe’s most beloved children’s books.

Yesterday, 17:00

A British rapper will run a series of school music workshops as a way of showing gratitude for the help he received from mentors.

Yesterday, 16:05

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Yesterday, 16:00

Keeping it in the family when trying to set the world alight with music can be a common thing: think The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, The Beach Boys, The Kinks.

Yesterday, 14:33

The proposal to close Hornchurch job centre is another example of “putting profit before people”, according to Rainham’s MP.

Yesterday, 12:05

A mum-of-three received the fright of her life after a humongous tree was brought down by Storm Doris - just yards from her kitchen window.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now