Young doctors protest in Trafalgar Square (PA)

Young doctors protest in Trafalgar Square (PA)

Junior doctors have been urged to start talks with Health Secretary Steve Barclay after other health unions reached a wage agreement with the government.

dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors Committee, indicated that talks with ministers could take place as early as Friday afternoon and that the union was open to negotiations “in good faith”.

Separate strike action by nurses and paramedics was disrupted after unions accepted a contract that included a one-time lump sum payment for this fiscal year and a 5 percent pay rise. The deal will now go to union members for a vote before it is accepted.

However, industrial action by junior doctors is ongoing after a 72-hour strike from Monday that severely affected services across the NHS.

When asked if the BMA would start negotiations to stop further strikes, Dr. Trivedi: “I hope so.

“Our position has been that we are open to speaking up in good faith and meaningfully at all times.

“We were ready to talk months ago. Our formal dispute began over 150 days ago and that’s what I mean when I say it’s disappointing that Steve Barclay has taken so long to get to the negotiating table.

“I just hope he comes in good faith and with a negotiating mandate.”

Pressed as to when talks could take place, he said: “So far we have not set an appointment for this afternoon but there has been some correspondence between our offices so it looks like we may be able to set something up in the near future.”

According to the BMA, junior doctor salaries have fallen 26 percent in real terms since 2008/09, and reversing this would require a 35.3 percent pay increase.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab urged the BMA to meet Mr Barclay for negotiations.

He told GB News: “The same offer is there. I think it would be the right thing if they accept it, I hope they will.

“I think it’s a good deal that’s fair, that recognizes the situation they’re in and the need we all have to tackle the backlog in the NHS.”

The offer, presented by the Government, consists of a one-off payment for the current financial year 2022/23, valued at £1,655-£3,789, for Agenda for Change staff in England and a consolidated 5 per cent pay rise for 2023/24. It applies to all NHS staff except doctors who have a different contract.

Tens of thousands of trainee doctors ended a 72-hour strike at 8 a.m. Thursday amid a bitter wage dispute with the government.

Counselors stepped in to cover emergency care, but health leaders have warned thousands of appointments and procedures have been cancelled.

At St George’s, Epsom and St Helier hospitals in south-west London, more than 1,000 people came to their emergency rooms over the course of Monday – despite requests that A&E should only go to A&E during the strike in the event of a medical emergency. That’s one person every 90 seconds.


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