UK

Junior doctors to hold talks with Government over NHS England dispute

Protesting doctors and medical staff from the British Medical Association (PA)
Protesting doctors and medical staff from the British Medical Association (PA) Protesting doctors and medical staff from the British Medical Association (PA)

Junior doctors will meet Government officials for talks aimed at ending the long-running dispute over pay and conditions in the English NHS.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said it had agreed to the talks, although the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the issue of pay would not be on the table.

The meeting is expected next week, although no date has yet been fixed.

A DHSC spokesman said: “We are pleased the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee has agreed to enter talks, in the hope we will find a resolution and end the dispute.

“We have been clear headline pay will not be on the table as doctors have already received a fair and reasonable pay rise as recommended by the independent pay review body, which we’ve accepted in full.

“This means doctors who started their hospital training this year have received a 10.3% pay increase, with the average junior doctor getting 8.8%.”

The BMA said: “We have agreed to talks with DHSC.

“We will be meeting with them next week and will listen to what they have to say.”

Consultants are also due to meet with the Government in an effort to resolve their separate dispute.

Top hospital doctors represented by the BMA have said they will not call any more strikes until November to allow time for talks.

And the BMA has also said specialist, associate specialist and specialty (SAS) doctors in England will meet the Government for talks.