The High Court has ruled that Jeremy Hunt did not exceed his powers in ″imposing″ the junior doctors contract.
Ruling on a judicial review brought to the court by a group of junior doctors who formed the ″Justice for Health″ group, the judge ruled that Jeremy Hunt was not imposing the contract himself (which would be outside his powers) but ″encouraging employers to introduce it″.
Amar Mashru, of the Justice for Health group, said “What is now allowed is the employers and employees at a national level to negotiate and agree terms which are genuinely in the interests of patients and staff. They are essentially free from the shackles of this irrational and hasty timeline set by the secretary of state.”
However this is a dangerous path for doctors go down, opening up the possibility of a breakdown of national terms and conditions into locally agreed contracts which vary widely.
On Saturday 24 September the BMA junior doctors’ committee met and decided to suspend all of their planned strikes.
It was reported that strikes could not go ahead due to risks to patient safety, but more details of the debate on the committee are yet to emerge