1. National

Plan for monthly junior doctors' strikes draws criticism

Junior doctors in England are to hold monthly strike action for the remainder of 2016, the British Medical Association has announced.

Here are the key developments:

  • The action will take place from 8am to 5pm between September 12 and 16, October 5 and 11, November 14 and 18, and December 5 and 9
  • The strikes are an 'unforgivable' betrayal of those needing care, the head of the Patients Association has said
  • Senior doctors have urged their junior colleagues to call off the strikes
  • Prime Minister Theresa May accused the BMA of 'playing politics', while Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said doctors were being 'very confrontational'
  • The BMA said it will call off industrial action if the Government agrees not to impose the new contracts
  • Six strikes have already taken place across England during the dispute
View all 23 updates ›

Junior doctor strike a 'great concern', says GMC head

The strike is due to take place from 12-16 September Credit: PA

The junior doctor strike represents a "serious escalation" of the ongoing dispute and is a "great concern", according to the head of the General Medical Council (GMC).

Niall Dickson, chief executive of GMC, said: "It is obviously a matter of great concern for everyone, especially for patients, and when so little time has been given for the NHS to make contingency plans.

"We recognise the frustration and alienation of doctors in training and indeed their right to take industrial action. However, we issued advice earlier in this dispute both to senior doctors and doctors in training, and we will now consider whether further guidance is needed."

He added: "The first priority must be to protect patients from harm.".

More on this story