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Junior doctors strike: When are they walking out again and why?

Junior doctors strike: When are they walking out again and why?

Junior doctors in England have confirmed a new round of strike action due to an unresolved dispute about pay.

Medical staff will go on strike for five days between February 24 and February 28, affecting some routine NHS services during this time.

News of the latest strike action came one month after junior doctors staged their longest walk-out to date, which lasted over six days.

The Government and the British Medical Association's pay negotiations broke down last month, prompting recent strike proposals.

“The Health Secretary was quite clear in media interviews during our last action that she would meet us 'in 20 minutes' when no strikes were planned. She also made clear that she had a further offer to make,” the union said.

The spokesperson added: "From the very start of the industrial action, we have been clear that there is no need for strike action as long as substantial progress is made, and we remain willing to carry on talking and to cancel the forthcoming strikes if significant progress is made and a credible offer is put forward.”

More than 1.1 million consultations and treatments have been cancelled because of NHS strike action over this year and last year.

Junior doctors, who range in experience from those just out of university to those with 10 years or more, make up nearly half the doctors in the NHS. According to the BMA, the profession needs to be given more respect.

Why are junior doctors striking?

Junior doctors are striking in a bid for higher pay, having been given an average pay rise in the summer of 8.8 per cent and an offer of 3 per cent, which they have rejected. The union has described the offer as "unevenly spread" across doctors' grades.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chair Vivek Trivedi said in December: “It is a great shame that even though the approach was more constructive, there was not enough on offer to shape a credible deal, which we hoped would end the dispute.”

Hospital services will be the most affected and there will be some disruption at GPs' surgeries.

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said the government is prepared to ‘go further’ saying: “We already provided them with a pay increase of up to 10.3% and were prepared to go further. We urged them to put an offer to their members, but they refused. We are also open to further discussions on improving doctors’ and the wider workforce’s working lives.”

When are the next junior doctor strikes?

The strikes will start at 7am on February 24 and continue until 11.59 pm on February 28.