As supplied by BMA Comms

A number of national publications including the Mirror, Independent, Telegraph and Daily Mail report on the news that Dr Johann Malawana has written to the Health Secretary offering to call off next week’s strike action if the contract imposition is dropped. In the letter, Dr Malawana wrote: “This is a clear offer in a bid to avert industrial action. Simply put, if the Government agrees to lift the imposition, junior doctors will call of next week’s action.” He added: “It must now listen to the many voices raising concerns about its mishandled plans and do what it has refused to for far too long: put patients first, get back around the table and end this dispute through talks.” Responding to the letter, the Health Secretary said: “It is not now possible to change or delay the introduction of this contract without creating unacceptable disruption for the NHS.”

Following the publication of GMC guidance on forthcoming strike action, a number of publications report on the response from the BMA junior doctor committee chair, Dr Johann Malawana, which states: “The critical message for patients is that anyone who needs emergency care during the days of industrial action will get it, the difference is that it will be provided by senior doctors rather than junior doctors.” Responding to the guidance in the Letters section of the Guardian, the president of Keep our NHS Public argues that the GMC should be on the side of junior doctors. In an additional letter, Dr Jonathan Barnes writes: “The reason junior doctors are continuing to fight imposition of this unsafe and unfair contract is that we know it will dangerously overstretch NHS services.”

In other news, a comment piece for the Guardian, written by junior doctor Stephen Fabes, argues that doctors will always put patient safety first as he writes: “Not only do we have a better understanding than the government does of threats to patient safety, but we hold it in higher regard.”
BMA online

Doctors offer to call off strike if imposition dropped Daily Mirror, Wednesday 19 April

Hunt rejects BMA offer to call off strike  Independent, Wednesday 19 April 2016,

Junior doctors begin indefinite protest in Leeds Independent, Wednesday 19 April

Doctors clear offer to avert strikes  Sky News, Wednesday 19 April 2016,

Junior doctors offer to call off strike  Huffington Post, Wednesday 19 April 2016,

GMC says hospitals may struggle in all – out strike  BBC News, Wednesday 19 April 2016

GMC should be on side of junior doctors  Guardian, Tuesday 19 April 2016,

Hunt refuses junior doctor offer to call off strike  Daily Mirror, Wednesday 19 April 2016,

Junior doctors told to reconsider striking in struggling hospitals Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 19 April 2016

Strike not justified in struggling hospitals   Guardian, Wednesday 19 April 2016,

Health Secretary refuses offer to avert strike  Evening Standard, Thursday 20 April 2016,

GMC wades in on junior doctor strikes  Daily Mirror, Thursday 20 April 2016,