Junior doctors’ strike called off at Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals

Campaigners at the Northwick Park Hospital junior doctors' strike last week. Pic credit: Angela Bla

Campaigners at the Northwick Park Hospital junior doctors' strike last week. Pic credit: Angela Blake - Credit: Archant

Junior doctors’ strikes which would have affected Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals have been called off.

The second set of strikes would have resulted in emergency care only at both hospitals for 48 hours from January 26.

It follows a strike last Tuesday, which saw doctors take to picket lines outside the hospitals.

The British Medical Association (BMA) released a statement saying industrial action has been suspended whilst talks between the union and the government over contract changes continue.

BMA junior doctor committee chair, Dr Johann Malawana, said: “Following junior doctors’ clear message to the government during last week’s action, our focus is now on building on early progress made in the current set of talks.

“Differences still exist between the BMA and the government on key areas, including the protection of patient safety and doctor’s working lives, and the recognition of unsocial hours. Significant, concrete progress will need to be made if future action, currently planned for 10 February, is to be averted.”

The dispute began after the government implied they would impose junior contract changes which would extend ‘basic’ working hours.

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Following the strikes, health secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasised his desire to continue with negotiations.

He said: “The door is open. I think these are things we can sort out by talking and not by risking patient safety.”

But doctors striking at Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Sudbury, told the Times last week that “patients will die” if the changes go ahead.

London North West Healthcare Trust, which runs the hospitals, has been contacted for comment.

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