Junior doctors represented by the BMA are planning their first all-out strikes on 26 and 27 April – the first time in the history of the NHS that they have threatened a full withdrawal of labour.
The strikes come amid a row over new terms and conditions that resulted in Hunt, the health secretary, threatening to impose the new contract on trainee medics as part of his vision for a “seven-day NHS”.
“As senior clinicians who deliver healthcare on the frontline on a daily basis, we understand their frustrations and their actions,” it says. “Stretching an already limited resource across [seven] days does not improve patient care, rather [it] diminishes it, and will also result in the demoralisation of an entire generation of junior doctors.
Training, continuity of patient care and junior doctors’ work-life balance will suffer under the new contract, which will lead to a worsening retention crisis within the NHS, they say in the letter, which is to be delivered to Downing Street on Saturday.
More than 2,500 consultants, #GPs and senior doctors have signed a letter to David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt in support of their striking junior colleagues, offering assurances that patients will be kept safe during next week’s walkout.