Junior doctors to strike ‘in longest single walkout in NHS history’

Politics

Junior doctors in England will strike for five consecutive days in July, in what is thought to be the longest single period of industrial action in the history of the health service.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said the five-day walkout would be between 7am on Thursday 13 July and 7am on Tuesday 18 July.

Thousands of appointments and pre-planned operations are set to be disrupted as more senior doctors fill in and emergency and critical care is prioritised.

Junior doctors also went on strike for three days earlier this month. It followed a four-day walkout in April and a three-day one in March.

Junior doctors’ pay has decreased by more than a quarter since 2008 when inflation is taken into account – and many are burnt out from an increasing workload, according to the BMA.

It said they had no option but to strike as the government had only made a 5% pay offer, way below the 35% they are demanding.

Junior doctors are qualified and have graduated from medical school but are undergoing training to become a specialist or a GP.

They make up around 45% of the NHS’s medical workforce and two-thirds are members of the BMA.

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