Junior doctors ‘disappointed’ as L&D strike is back on

Junior doctors prepare for strike action as talks fail
Junior doctors prepare for strike action as talks fail

Junior doctors at Luton and Dunstable Hospital will go on strike next week, as contract talks between the government and the British Medical Association have once again failed.

Industrial action was called off at the 11th hour last month as an outline agreement over a new deal for junior doctors was reached.

However talks over weekend pay and unsociable hours have once again broken down and on Monday the British Medical Association announced plans for walkouts at hospitals across England.

Junior doctors at the L&D will provide emergency care only from 8am on Tuesday to 8am on Wednesday.

A 48-hour emergency care only strike will take place from 8am on January 26, while junior doctors will stage a full withdrawal of labour from 8am to 5pm on February 10.

Dr Abu Abioye, who has been a junior doctor at the L&D for five months, told the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette of his disappointment at the ongoing contract dispute.

He said: “It is not something we want to do but we feel it is the only way the government will listen.

“Before we decided to strike previously they planned to impose a contract that was unfair – then the night before it went ahead they decided to negotiate.

“I’m hoping that before the strike happens there will be more negotiation and hopefully a resolution.

“Many doctors are annoyed that we are not being valued and a lot are cynical that is all part of a way to dismantle the NHS.”

If industrial action goes ahead as planned junior doctors will picket outside the L&D.

They will also hold ‘meet the doctor’ sessions at the town’s train stations, to give locals the chance to ask about the contract dispute.

Dr Abioye added: “Having the public on our side is very important to us – we are doing this because we feel we have to fight for our patients and their best interests.

“We will be holding our breath hoping that patients won’t have to lose out on service, we are all going to be ready to go to work until we are told we have to strike.”