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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
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Norman Lamb urges cross-party process on contracts

Norman Lamb has urged for a 'cross-party process' to resolve the dispute Credit: PA

Former health minister and Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb has said that the key problem in the dispute between junior doctors and the government over new contracts is down to a "chronic financial crisis" in the NHS.

"More strikes could be very damaging given that services are already under intolerable pressure," he said.

"I therefore repeat my call to the Government to agree to an urgent cross-party process aimed at achieving a new settlement for the NHS and care.

"There's no reason why we can't achieve a modern, highly effective NHS and care system but the government will have to work with others to achieve that."

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