Jeremy Hunt chastises BMA over junior doctors' strike

Jeremy Hunt heavily criticised the British Medical Association. Credit: House of Commons

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has heavily criticised the British Medical Association (BMA) for its stance over new contracts for junior doctors.

Issuing a statement in the House of Commons on plans to "improve safety and transparency" in the NHS, Mr Hunt claimed the government was putting patients first.

But Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander, blamed Mr Hunt for the current crisis and a "kamikaze" approach to dealing with junior doctors.

In response, Mr Hunt quoted one of the chief architects of the NHS, former Labour Health Secretary Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan:

In relation to NHS safety, Mr Hunt announced that from April 1 the government will set up the first independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch to "undertake timely, no blame investigations" into hospital mistakes.

The government will also bring forward plans to give legal protection to whistle blowers and those who "speak honestly to investigators."

England will also become the first country in the world to publish estimates by every hospital trust of their own avoidable mortality rates.

Mr Hunt added: "An NHS that learns from mistakes, one of the largest organisations in the world becoming the world's largest learning organisation.

"That is how we will offer the safest, highest quality standards of care in the NHS."