We urge the BMA and Department of Health to meet urgently and participate in meaningful and sincere negotiations in order to resolve this impasse.
It is vital that there is a coherent plan with a satisfactory resolution for all parties, and the only way this can be achieved is if the two parties show willingness to resume discussion.
At the heart of this, we know that Junior Doctors are concerned about patient safety, but in becoming doctors they also pledged to look after patients and have their best interests at heart.
For this reason, it is right that the BMA called off strike action next week because it seriously risks patient safety. Notwithstanding, the Department of Health must remember that striking is not in the interest of patients and should show willingness to avoid further strikes by opening up avenues for discussion.
We do not want overworked, tired doctors looking after ill and vulnerable people: this undermines the NHS’s values of compassionate patient care.
The Patients Association remains concerned about the effects of this dispute continuing, and hope that the strike cancellation will allow the time for productive negotiations between both parties.