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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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Doctor strikes are 'devastating blow' says patients' group

Junior doctors have been locked in a dispute with the government over pay and conditions Credit: PA

Planned junior doctors' strikes throughout the rest of the year are a "devastating blow", a national patients' group has warned.

The Patients Association condemned the strike action as it said that the repeated stoppages would lead to cancelled operations and longer waits for treatment.

This is a devastating blow to patients, and a destructive next step as far as any kind of negotiations go.

– Katherine Murphy, The Patients Association

Chief executive Katherine Murphy called on both junior doctors and the government to return to talks in a fight over pay and conditions.

"At least one person a day calls our helpline specifically to ask for support following a cancelled or delayed hospital appointment or surgery," she said.

"This is only going to increase if the Government and BMA don't take this opportunity to resume meaningful and sincere negotiations to prevent further industrial action."

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