Disruption to Lincolnshire’s hospitals averted as junior doctors call off strike

The second in a planned series of strikes by junior doctors in Lincolnshire and the rest of England has been suspended.

Junior doctors were expected to walk out for 48 hours from January 26 in protest at the new contracts being imposed on them by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

However, following discussions with the government, they have agreed to suspend the walkout.

A statement on the British Medical Association website said: “On the basis of early progress made in the current set of talks with the government, the junior doctors committee made the decision to suspend the 48 hour industrial action planned for January 26-28.

“We are announcing this today in order to give trusts as much notice as possible so as to avoid disruption to patients.

“This decision is in line with our stated aim to ensure a safe, fair contract through negotiated agreement, if at all possible.

“The action which junior doctors across England took last week sent a clear message to the government and the negotiating team is now focusing on reaching a resolution to meet your concerns.”

Chris Busby (left) with retired nurse Giles Wynne. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chris Busby (left) with retired nurse Giles Wynne. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The first strike in over 40 years took place on January 12.

Junior doctors formed a picket line outside Lincoln County Hospital, with dozens of cars sounded their horns and gave the protesters the thumbs-up as they drove into work along Greetwell Road this morning.

However, some including Cherry Willingham resident Stephen Minister were not as impressed, who pulled up alongside the picket line to say that he was “disgusted” with the doctors and that he had “no patience with them.”

An angry motorist makes clear his feelings on the junior doctors' strike of January 12. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

An angry motorist makes clear his feelings on the junior doctors’ strike of January 12. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chris Busby, a junior doctor at Lincoln County Hospital, had said: “We feel that the contract that the government is trying to impose on us is unsafe in the long run.

“We’ve been working very hard to try and get a contract that’s fair for doctors and safe for patients but unfortunately the government aren’t listening to us.”

The walkout generated significant discussion on social media, with readers of The Lincolnite giving their views on the industrial action.