Nurses, healthcare assistants, porters and other members of the NHS workforce have voiced their solidarity with junior doctors over next week’s planned strike action.
In a letter published in The Independent, signed by more than 1,000 NHS staff, they say strike action is “the only option” to protect patients and doctors alike.
The message of support, which was also signed by NHS paramedics, carers, scientists and secretaries, comes as the Government and the British Medical Association clashed over the coming strikes, with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt claiming an agreement was close but that the BMA had walked out after less than an hour of renewed talks on Monday.
Dr Mark Porter, chair of BMA Council, hit back saying that the union had fully considered the new contract offer from the Government, accusing negotiators of “not taking the concerns of junior doctors seriously”.
However, talks between the Government and the BMA, facilitated by the mediation service Acas, are expected to continue up to and, if necessary, after next Tuesday’s strike. Junior doctors have warned that industrial action will continue until their demands are met – raising the prospect of a year or more of unrest in the NHS.