Newham junior doctors set to strike

Newham University Hospital will be one of the four hospitals in the borough affected by the walkout

Newham University Hospital will be one of the four hospitals in the borough affected by the walkout - Credit: Archant

Thousands of junior doctors are set to stage four days of strike action after talks with mediators broke down.

The walkout could see services across Newham’s four hospitals suffer, as nearly 700 junior doctors employed by Barts Health NHS Trust prepare to strike for 24 hours from Tuesday. This would be followed by a 48 hour strike on January 26, again leaving only emergency cover, with a full withdrawal of labour on February 10.

Centred on a new contract that doctors argue would leave them overworked and underpaid, the strikes were originally planned for three dates in December. The British Medical Association (BMA) pulled out of industrial action at the eleventh hour, but the doctors’ union says there has still been no resolution to the dispute.

“After weeks of further negotiations, it is clear that the government is still not taking junior doctors’ concerns seriously,” said Dr Mark Porter, the BMA’s chair of council.

Dr Hannah Marshall, 29, a paediatrician at Royal London Hospital, said they had been “left with no choice”.

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“I am really disappointed that the government have not felt able to negotiate to offer a new contract that is safe for patients and fair for junior doctors,” she said.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt called for “seven days a week” care and said that “everything apart from weekend pay” had been resolved in talks so far.

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A spokeswoman for Barts Health added they were “taking steps” to ensure high standards of patient safety and care on strike days. She added: “The role of the Trust is to provide safe and compassionate care for all our patients while also maintaining our duty of care to our own staff.

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