Junior doctors talks need time and space, says health secretary

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins has compared talks with junior doctors in England to a “peace process away from the glare of the media”. She told the BBC she wanted to give people the time and space for discussions, away from social media. Formal negotiations over the doctors’ pay dispute collapsed in December.

But on Thursday, the British Medical Association said it had agreed to fresh talks with the government and an unnamed independent mediator.A spokesperson for the association has said there was a need to restore trust and an independent mediator could help break the logjam.The row has run for more than a year and led to a number of strikes since March 2023.

The BMA wants a 35% pay rise phased over a few years. Ministers awarded an average of just under 9% for the last financial year and have suggested anything higher would be unaffordable.

Speaking to the Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast, Ms Atkins said she wanted to ensure people round the negotiating table did not feel beholden to deadlines or tweets.She agreed with the suggestion that the negotiations would be “effectively talks in secret… like a peace process where people are going away for some time. away from the glare of the media” to try to get a settlement.

She added that in addition to pay, working conditions were also an issue and that she wanted to “help junior doctors with some of the working conditions that they are facing that make life really tough for them”. Asked by Nick Robinson whether the prime minister and chancellor were “a block to progress” she replied: “Very much not

Source: People

In other news – Queen Camilla surprises guests at the opening session of Charleston Festival 2024

Queen Camilla on Thursday surprised the guests at the opening session of Charleston Festival 2024, as she joined Laureate Joseph Coelho on stage for a conversation about the power of reading and the books they loved as children.

Queen Camilla


According to palace, the Queen has spent the day celebrating literacy in East Sussex. At the Charleston Festival 2024, she surprised the guests by attending opening session, ‘Power of Reading’. Read more

Back to top button