Hunt: BMA is 'misrepresenting' contract changes to junior doctors

Junior doctors will protest new contracts which say cut their pay and compromise patient safety. Credit: PA

Jeremy Hunt has accused the British Medical Association of "misrepresenting government plans" over new contracts for junior doctors.

It comes as thousands of trainee doctors prepare to march against changes to pay and working conditions, which the BMA argues puts patient safety at risk.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Hunt said:

The contract changes are part of the Government's plan to create a seven-day NHS.

Critics say the new conditions would see junior doctors' pay cut by up to 40% whilst changing normal working hours to include Saturdays and late evenings.

Dr Johann Malawana, chairman of the BMA junior doctors' committee denied the organisation has misled doctors, adding that the rally would be "a wake-up call for ministers".

Last month junior doctors marched on Downing Street, after negotiations between NHS Employers and the BMA broke down. Strike action is also on the cards if the two sides fail to reach agreement.

Marches are also expected in Belfast and Nottingham today.

Dr Anna Warrington, of the protest organising committee, said: "This unprecedented protest brings together healthcare professionals and concerned public to raise awareness of the threat to our NHS from the imposed junior doctors' contract.

"Junior doctors will not agree to contract changes that risk patients' safety and doctors' wellbeing. This event is about explaining our concerns to a wider audience."