Thousands of NHS junior doctors across England will stage more industrial action after crunch talks between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Department of Health failed to find a resolution to the ongoing contract dispute.
The decision comes despite sources close to the negotiations from both parties telling IBTimes UK that progress had been made after the medics refused to work on non-emergency operations for 24 hours on 12 January. The latest talks between the BMA and Department of Health adjourned on 29 January.
The junior doctors now plan to walkout for 24 hours from 8am on 10 February after the sides failed to come to an agreement over the terms and conditions around working, which has become a sticking points in the negotiations.
Johann Malawana, the chair of the BMA's junior doctors' committee, said: "The government's entrenched position in refusing to recognise Saturday working as unsocial hours, together with its continued threat to impose a contract so fiercely resisted by junior doctors across England, leaves us with no alternative but to continue with industrial action.
"Over the past few weeks, we have welcomed the involvement of Sir David Dalton in talks about a new junior doctor contract, which recognises the need to protect patient care and doctors' working lives."
He added: "His understanding of the realities of a health service buckling under mounting pressures and commitment to reaching a fair agreement has resulted in good progress on a number of issues. It is, therefore, particularly frustrating that the government is still digging in its heels."
The development comes after NHS England said more than 10,000 of the medics signed on to work the day shift during the last walkout on 12 January. In November 2015, 98% of the BMA medics, out of a 76% turnout (28,305), backed a strike in protest over the health service's new contracts.
A spokesperson for Acas said the service is ready to help the sides involved in the dispute. The Department of Health had not responded to a request for comment at time of publication.