Junior doctors take part in further strike over pay dispute

Junior doctors strike payJunior doctors have begun their 11th round of strikes in England today following a long-running pay dispute.

The latest strike, which saw junior doctors walk out of all services, started at 7am and is set to last until 7am on 2 July. Senior doctors will be providing cover, while NHS England has warned of significant disruption to routine hospital services.

The doctors, who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA), have asked for a 35% rise, arguing that this would make up for 15 years of below-inflation pay rises. On a ballot turnout of 61.86%, a total of 97.97% voted to take part in strike action.

During the last financial year, junior doctors received a pay rise worth nearly 9%. The BMA tried to negotiate an extra 3% pay rise on top, but discussions collapsed.

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Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, said: “It is immensely disappointing that the Prime Minister has once again failed to deliver for his constituents and NHS patients. We have been as reasonable as we can: we gave him a final chance to put forward an offer. No doctor wants to strike, not this time nor the 10 rounds of action before it. We have been forced to this position and nothing would make us happier than returning to work with a commitment to pay restoration.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, added: “While we fully understand the genuine grievances junior doctors have over their pay, conditions and training, NHS leaders will still be frustrated that they will yet again be taking to the picket lines. Holding strikes in the middle of an election campaign when no political party is in a position to bring the dispute to a close is a bitter pill to swallow for staff who have to plug the gaps and patients who will have their appointments cancelled or delayed.”