Junior doctors are to go on strike in Brighton and Hove again tomorrow after talks between the government and the British Medical Association ended without agreement today (Tuesday 9 February).
The 24-hour strike will start at 8am tomorrow (Wednesday 10 February) and end at 8am on Thursday (11 February).
Emergency care will still be provided at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton although junior doctors – all those below consultant grade – will not be working in other areas of the hospital.
Patients whose procedures are being cancelled should have been notified already.
A picket line is expected at the Royal Sussex, in Eastern Road, Brighton, and at Mill View Hospital in Hove.
The BMA said: “Peaceful and professional is the theme. This isn’t just about our new contract but a stand to defend the whole NHS which is being deliberately underfunded and destabilised.
“You are all welcome to join us from 8am and we welcome your support.”
Several junior doctors, nurses and medical students travelled to London at the weekend to take part in a demonstration in support of the dispute over junior doctors’ pay and conditions.
Nurses are also angry at the proposed withdrawal of bursaries for student nurses – in favour of loans – even though there is a shortage of nurses at the moment.
Sussex Defend the NHS said: “We have already seen, for the first time in 40 years, our hospital doctors forced to take strike action as the government tries to impose an unsafe and unfair new contract on the junior doctors.
“Last Saturday saw yet another huge demonstration in London against the government’s proposed new contracts.
“This time it was supported by other health professionals as well as student nurses and midwives angry at George Osborne’s proposal to cut the NHS student bursary.
“Once again, ACAS talks have now stalled, due to the Department of Health and Jeremy Hunt’s intransigence on guaranteeing safe working hours in our hospitals.
“As a result our local hospital junior doctors will join the national strike action providing only emergency care for 24 hours commencing at 8am.
“At the Royal Sussex County Hospital, juniors and health professionals will form a picket line from 7.15am to noon opposite the Eye Hospital.
“As last time, later on Wednesday afternoon there will be a ‘Meet the Doctors’ event in town from 2pm.
“Subject to council permission it will take place in New Road and involve general discussion, engaging the public and handing out leaflets explaining the dispute.
“Our local Brighton and Sussex Medical School student doctors will also be supporting their working colleagues as they, their conditions of service and indeed careers too will be directly affected by government imposition of new contracts.
“At 2pm student medics will gather at Old Steine before walking together to the Royal Sussex County Hospital to show support.”
Katrina Miller, from Sussex Defend the NHS, said: “We’ll be here doing what we can as long as Jeremy Hunt and this government keep on trying to destroy our NHS.
“I really feel for these doctors and the students too. This strike action is not easy. It really is a last resort but how else can we all make the government listen.
“I hope loads of people will come and join in and talk to the doctors in New Road. We’ve also organised a public meeting for Thursday so come along if you can.”
The meeting is being held from 7pm to 9pm in the Eagle Pub, in Gloucester Road, Brighton.
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