Diane Abbott with Homerton University Hospital staff

Diane Abbott with Homerton University Hospital staff

Shadow health secretary Diane Abbott has slammed the government’s handling of talks as junior doctors rejected a new contract.

Responding to the news, the MP for Hackney and Stoke Newington said: “Today is yet another sorry episode in the saga of the Government’s mishandled negotiations with junior doctors. It is disappointing that several months on, we still do not have a contract in place that junior doctors feel able to support.

The shadow secretary of state for health met with nurses and A&E staff at Homerton University Hospital this afternoon.

“We need a government that can command the support of patients and professionals in the NHS and this government has shown it can do neither. Waiting lists are growing, hospitals are in crisis and patient care is going backwards,” she said.

“The Tories are failing the NHS. They need to a find a resolution to this dispute as soon as possible. The junior doctors’ committee will meet tomorrow to decide how they take matters forward.

“Junior doctors command the support of the British public. It is clear that the public will have faith in its doctors, long after they have lost faith in this Tory government.”

NHS junior doctors voted to reject the government’s final offer on their new contract, despite weeks of talks to try to get agreement.

Almost six in 10 junior doctors (58 per cent) working who belong to the British Medical Association turned down the deal, whilst 42 per cent endorsed it.

About 37,000 BMA members, or 68 per cent of the 54,000 trainee doctors and final- and penultimate-year medical students who were eligible to vote, took part in the ballot.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said the result was “extremely disappointing”.

The government had argued that the contract was good for doctors, giving them a substantial pay increase, and good for the NHS in that it supported patients and moved towards a seven day service.

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak has meant that the Hackney Citizen has been unable to print a monthly newspaper for the last three months.

The need for quality news and reliable reporting is crucial - however, this is an increasingly challenging time for local journalism.

Our main source of income, print advertising revenue, fell suddenly - and so we are asking you, the readers, for your help.A one-off donation from anyone who can afford it will help our small team get our newspaper back in print and keep the website and social media feeds running through this unprecedented crisis.

Find out how you can donate.

Thanks in advance for your support, and stay safe.