Letter: Junior doctors need a fair deal

6 April 2016 .......        Junior Doctors on the picket line striking outside the Leeds General Infirmary. Picture Tony Johnson
6 April 2016 ....... Junior Doctors on the picket line striking outside the Leeds General Infirmary. Picture Tony Johnson
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Junior doctors continue to put patient safety first in their fight for our NHS, as the BMA announced its plan to suspend their strike action planned for this week.

That junior doctors have suspended their industrial action this month reflects their genuine concerns about its possible impact on patient safety. Junior doctors have discovered the NHS is far more stretched and under-resourced than even they originally feared.

Jeremy Hunt must now take this opportunity to sit down with junior doctors and resolve the dispute. It is sad to see our doctors forced to the brink of further industrial action by the Health Secretary’s intransigence.

The original strike announcement came just days after the government was forced to reveal its plans to shut down NHS services across England - a stark reminder of the perilous condition of our National Health Service after years of Tory mismanagement.

A conscientious Health Secretary would stop his relentless attempts to smear a workforce tirelessly plugging huge rota gaps with good will alone and put forward a contract that is fair and safe for staff and patients alike.

In asking the government to find a fair, safe settlement for desperate junior doctors, I am among the majority of the British public in offering solidarity to any, and all, frontline NHS staff fighting to protect our beloved health service and do their jobs properly against all the odds - given six years of massive NHS underfunding and organisational upheaval, designed to increase opportunities for private companies to take over NHS services.