Doctors’ union the BMA has announced junior doctors withdraw all labour for 20 hours during a strike on April 26.
Industrial action will take place on April 6 for 48 hours with doctors providing emergency care only.
On April 26, there will be a full withdrawal of labour between 8am and 5pm on April 27 – 20 hours in total.
This means junior doctors across Sussex will not attend work, or provide emergency cover between those hours, however other doctors and healthcare staff will work as normal.
A message posted on the BMA’s website said: “The government has chosen to impose a new contract on junior doctors, ignoring the BMA’s concerns about the impact of imposition on morale and the already worsening recruitment and retention crisis in the ranks of junior doctors.
“As a result of the continued refusal by the government to step back from its decision to impose a new contract on junior doctors and resolve the dispute by re-entering talks, industrial action scheduled for 26 April will change from 48-hour emergency care only to a full withdrawal of labour by junior doctors between the hours stated above. Other doctors and staff will continue to provide care during this time.”
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the plans to impose a new contract in February after a final offer was rejected by the British Medical Association, the union which represents doctors.
Negotiations between the BMA and NHS Employers for new consultants and junior doctors’ contracts began in October 2013.
Doctors are arguing the changes – proposed to improve seven-day NHS services — will result in a pay cut and will be unsafe for patients.
The new contract proposes an 13.5 per cent rise in basic pay for junior doctors.
However, the number of hours during the week which are classed as ‘unsociable’ and therefore better paid – are being cut. This includes Saturday.
Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “No junior doctor wants to take this action but the government has left us with no choice. In refusing to lift imposition and listen to junior doctors’ outstanding concerns, the government will bear direct responsibility for the first full walkout of doctors in this country.”
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