Acas stated it’s “effectively ready and prepared to assist” resolve a bitter dispute between the Government and junior doctors.
The British Medical Affiliation (BMA) has written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging ministers to enter talks with junior doctors by the conciliation service.
It comes as the union stated the Government is “letting sufferers down” with its “arbitrary” stance that it’ll not enter talks with doctors whereas strikes are deliberate.
Later this month, junior doctors are planning to stage the largest walkout in the NHS’s historical past – from July 13-18.
And consultants – the most senior doctors in the NHS – are planning to stage industrial motion from July 20-21, when they’ll solely present scaled-back “Christmas Day cowl”.
In a letter to Mr Sunak, Dr Phil Banfield, chairman of coucil at the BMA, stated: “The arbitrary precondition that you’ll not negotiate whereas strike motion is deliberate is letting sufferers down.
“When negotiations beforehand broke down, it was your authorities that cancelled upcoming conferences and withdrew from scheduled talks although the public rightly need you to use each alternative doable to get round the negotiating desk to discover a answer.
“We’re keen to negotiate earlier than, throughout and after industrial motion… by refusing to negotiate whereas industrial motion is deliberate, you might be penalising sufferers.
“It’s not too late to start intensive talks and it’s not too late to avert additional strikes.”
In remarks issued to the PA information company, Kate Nowicki, director of dispute decision at Acas, stated: “We’ve got a workforce of consultants who’re effectively ready and prepared to assist with the junior doctors’ dispute.
“Acas has a long time of expertise in resolving disputes, which incorporates serving to the numerous sides have a look at choices for a compromise.
“Our collective conciliation service is neutral, free and impartial. It is usually voluntary, which implies we will solely maintain formal conciliation talks when all the events in dispute agree that the time is correct for conciliation.
“An impartial survey this 12 months confirmed that each employers and workers overwhelming need the numerous sides concerned in strike motion to search mediation from Acas to resolve their dispute.”
In an interview with PA, Dr Banfield stated: “The lack of belief that has occurred between this Government and the medical occupation, I’ve by no means seen earlier than.
“It’s an absolute travesty that we’re in the place the place doctors really feel that there isn’t a various however to take strike motion.”
In his speech to the BMA annual consultant assembly in Liverpool, Dr Banfield stated the “complete of the medical workforce” may very well be on strike earlier than the subsequent common election.
“We’ll strike to the subsequent common election and past if that’s what it takes,” he stated.
“We’re ready to negotiate in good religion however this Government isn’t.
“I would like to repeat our clear message to Westminster all through the junior doctors dispute: we’ve got all the time stated we’ll meet with out preconditions anytime, anyplace to resolve our points. This provide nonetheless holds.
“In the meantime, consultants have suffered the largest decline in pay for any department of observe. They’re becoming a member of the battle to guarantee we don’t lose our most senior and professional doctors – those that will practice the subsequent era.
“At this charge, the complete of the medical occupation will probably be in dispute at the subsequent common election.”