Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Junior Doctors’ Strike

How the BMA lost control of the junior doctors’ dispute

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 29 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5266
  1. Tom Moberly, editor,
  2. Abi Rimmer, deputy editor
  1. BMJ Careers

The BMJ’sTom MoberlyandAbi Rimmerreflect on how the junior doctors’ contract dispute has played out

In October 2014, when the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee walked out of negotiations over a new contract,1 junior doctors were not headline news. Few were engaged in political debates or even aware that plans for a new contract had been under discussion since 2009.

By the time England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced in August 2015 that he would be imposing a new contract,2 his jibes at doctors over their supposed lack of commitment and his misuse of weekend mortality statistics created a groundswell of anger. It was this anger that fuelled protests in the …

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