TIME is now running as far as the negotiations between the BMA’s Junor Doctors Committee (JDC) and the Tory government is concerned.
As part of the ACAS talks, the Department of Health and NHS Employers agreed to extend the deadline for the first day of action from four weeks after the close of ballot to eight weeks. That would mean that the first day of action will be no later than 13 January, with notice to be given to trusts by 5 January.
A decision on whether to take strike action will be made on Monday January 4, with the action due to be taken before January 13th.
On 22 December the JDC negotiation steering group met to evaluate the progress of those talks.
It stated on December 23 that ‘Whilst significant ground has been made, there are still a couple of absolute areas of disagreement. These are born out as being two of the top priorities of junior doctors via the ICM survey.
‘It is therefore absolutely clear that should we not be able to reach an acceptable outcome by 4pm on 4th January, the BMA will need to commence serving notice as per its mandate, to the NHS, for industrial action the following week.’
The JDC statement by Doctor Johann Malawana continued: ‘The BMA is a trade union and should we need to protect our current and future members from an unfair contract. I, and the JDC, have absolutely no intention of standing by whilst the government pushes current and future generations of doctors out of the NHS and to leave the UK.
‘It simply is unacceptable to devalue and denigrate doctors and the medical profession to the point where medicine in the UK is no longer a profession that the majority of doctors would recommend.’ It added: ‘Should the government decide to force junior doctors down this course of action, we have to continue to stand together and support one another.’