Junior doctors prepare for fresh talks over contracts

Junior doctors’ leaders are set to enter fresh talks with the government on Monday, signalling a small breakthrough in the bitter contractual dispute.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has agreed to restart talks with Jeremy Hunt’s department over contentious issues including Saturday pay.

The talks are seen as the best chance of a peace deal to end the eight month-long protest over the new contract, following the first all-out strike in NHS history last month.

However, there was fresh opposition to Hunt on Sunday as junior doctors in Manchester urged Mike Deegan, the chief executive of Manchester Royal Infirmary, not to impose the contract even if he is ordered to by the health secretary.

The petition, which organisers say has been signed by about 2,500 doctors, patients and other members of the public, was backed by Labour MP Jeff Smith on Sunday.

Full story in The Guardian 9 May 2016