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Consultants announce additional strike dates after rejecting ‘final’ pay offer

The BMA has announced two new strike dates for hospital consultants in England despite the Government making what it called its ‘final’ 6% pay offer last week.

Consultants are already due to strike on Thursday and Friday this week (20 and 21 July) and the BMA said they will now also walk out on 24 and 25 August.

The Government announced a 6% pay rise for doctors on 13 July, saying this was a ‘final’ offer which ‘no amount of strikes’ would change.

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘We’ve made it clear this pay award is not up for negotiation and urge those unions still in dispute with the government to end their strikes immediately.‘

But the BMA said it was ‘another real-terms pay cut’ and warned that strikes would continue, and potentially include ‘other’ doctor groups.

The consultants’ strike action will be based on Christmas Day levels of cover, meaning emergency care will still be provided.

BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said: ‘This “final offer” and flat refusal to engage in further talks has left us with no option but to continue our action.

‘We have therefore announced further strike dates in August and will announce further dates in due course.

‘The Government must also understand that we will continue to stand up for consultants and, if necessary, are in this for the long haul.’

He added: ‘The Prime Minister says cutting these waiting lists is a priority but then undermines his own policy by showing he doesn’t value those charged with delivering it.‘

A version of this story was originally published by our sister publication Pulse.