Search

Junior doctors walk out in third strike over contract

PUBLISHED: 09:22 09 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:22 09 March 2016

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

23 minutes ago

There are severe delays on the TFL Rail line and the London Overground due to power supply problems in the Romford area.

Residents were out in force on Tuesday to campaign against plans for a gravel extraction plant near their homes.

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman is one of five people to have been killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:32

Two people are believed to have died and a dozen injured in a suspected terror attack outside Parliament this afternoon.

Yesterday, 14:49

Overjoyed at reaching her goal of being a size 12, the future looked bright for Helen Heagren.

Yesterday, 12:50

I was never one of those little girls who daydreamed about getting married – I wasn’t adverse to it but was just more interested in learning to drive and finding the cure to frizz-prone hair, the latter proving to be an life-long mission.

Yesterday, 12:07

If you’re planning to take your mum out for Mother’s Day, take the train – and take her for free.

Live

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman is one of five people to have been killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

View Live

Breaking News

Yesterday, 16:21

A police officer is believed to have been stabbed at Parliament this afternoon.

Read more

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