Junior doctors hold 48-hour strike in contract row

Thousands of junior doctors across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are taking part in a national strike as part of a bitter dispute with the Government over a new contract.

The 48-hour walkout began at 8am.

This is the fourth stoppage in the dispute, with almost 25,000 procedures have been cancelled across the country since industrial action began.

Junior doctors will provide emergency care only during the strike, which is expected to hit hospitals hard so soon after the Easter break.

The first full walkout in the history of the NHS by junior doctors is plannedfor later this month, when doctors will withdraw all labour and provide no emergency cover.

Junior doctors on the picket line at Calderdale Royal Hospital

Junior doctors are objecting to a new contract which the Government says will create a truly seven-day service.

The major sticking point has been over weekend pay and whether Saturdays should attract extra "unsocial" payments.

Currently, 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and the whole of Saturday and Sunday attracts a premium rate of pay for junior doctors.

The Government has said the Saturday day shift must be paid at a normal rate.

The British Medical Association (BMA) also objects to other terms in the contract, which will be imposed from August, but has called on the Government to resume negotiations.

Junior doctors' children show their support on the picket line

The BMA is launching a judicial review challenging the lawfulness of the imposition of the contract.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also facing a second legal challenge from NHS staff campaign group Just Health.