Junior doctors’ strikes called off

Junior doctors' strike
Junior doctors' strike
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Junior doctors in Blackpool will no longer take part in a five-day strike next week after the British Medical Association (BMA) took the decision to suspend the planned industrial action.

The action was set to cause havoc at NHS hospital across the county and the BMA cancelled the strike after NHS bosses said they needed more time to draw up contingency plans to protect patient safety.

Junior doctors had voted to strike between 8am-5pm each day from Monday in a long-running dispute over controversial changes to their contracts.

The BMA raised fears that new working conditions would lead to unsafe shift patterns and pay cuts for junior doctors.

But health secretary Jeremy Hunt decided to impose the new contract without agreement from the BMA.

The BMA called off next week’s action after talks with NHS England, but still plans to hold strikes in October, November and December unless the government backs down.

Chairman of the BMA junior doctor committee Dr Ellen McCourt said future action was still avoidable if the government halts its plans.