Negotiations over disputed junior contract restart

Junior doctors on strike outside of Queen's Hospital in Romford

Junior doctors on strike outside of Queen's Hospital in Romford - Credit: Archant

Junior doctors in Romford have agreed to halt further strikes as negotiations with the government restart.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he is willing to suspend the introduction of the new junior doctors’ contract for five days from Monday in order to allow further talks.

The long-running dispute saw junior doctors withdraw emergency care, for the first time ever, in two one-day strikes at the hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, last week.

Consultants were called in to provide cover to affected departments, including A&E and intensive care.

Negotiations broke down in February over the issue of extended working hours and Saturday pay, which the Health Secretary says must now be the focus of new discussions.

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Speaking outside Queen’s last week, junior doctor Emma Jones, 32, appealed for negotiations to be restarted.

She said: “I thought about it for a very long time but no one thinks this contract will lead to a safe NHS.”

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