Junior Doctors Strikes: BMA announced exemption for Sheffield Teaching Hospital doctors for patient safety

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The British Medical Association has said patient safety is their number one priority during the disputes.

A union representing striking junior doctors granted an exemption for staff from Sheffield Teaching Hospital's neonatal unit, after strike cover became unavailable.

The British Medical Association (BMA) were informed of the shortage by staff at the NHS Trust, which would have left the unit short staffed yesterday evening (July 15, 2023).

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In a tweet yesterday morning, the BMA said: "We have granted a derogation for Sheffield Teaching Hospital's neonatal unit, where a further member of the planned strike mitigation staffing has become unavailable for tonight.

"We want to thank the Hospital Trust and Regional Medical Director team, along with NHSE, for flagging appropriate concerns in a timely way, and for taking all steps to avoid request of a derogation. Our priority is patient safety."

Junior Doctors in the NHS are taking strike action in order to "achieve full pay restoration to reverse the steep decline in pay faced by junior doctors since 2008/9"; agree on a "mechanism with the Government to prevent any future declines against the cost of living and inflation"; and "reform the DDRB (Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body) process so pay increases can be recommended independently and fairly to safeguard the recruitment and retention of junior doctors".

It follows a very difficult few years for the NHS where the BMA have said junior doctors made an "enormous contribution and significant sacrifice", which isn't being "recognised by the government".

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The BMA said the government had refused to meet with them before choosing to take industrial action and that "if junior doctors are forced out of the NHS because of poor pay and conditions, the services we all rely on to look after our loved ones will suffer".

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