BMA leaders conspired to draw out negotiations with the Department of Health on junior doctors’ dispute

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

A major leak of data appears to expose the inner workings of senior BMA officials within the junior doctors’ dispute. The leak was of the transcripts of a WhatsApp group which was made up entirely of leaders of the junior doctors committee.

The group discussed many matters in relation to the junior doctors’ dispute, the most potent of which was the option to tie up the Department of Health by through strikes and failing to reach an agreement. The intention of these tactics was supposedly to push the Government to breaking point which would result in the BMA getting the best result for their members.

Messages between the group started in November 2015 and this leak was first reported by the Health Service Journal. There are over 1000 pages of messages but one of the more pertinent points of discussion concentrated on the objection to Saturday working being included as part of the working week.

In response to the leak the BMA has stated that messages that have sent in a hurry as a knee jerk reaction to current events in relation to any issues are not reflective of the considered responses of the organisation as a whole.

This leak comes at an important time in negotiations over the junior doctor’s contract just before a ballot of the BMA’s members is scheduled to be called. Whilst the Department of Health has no comment on the issues it would appear that we are close to the conclusion of this long-running dispute.

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