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Junior Doctors Lose High Court Challenge Against Health Secretary

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health has won a High Court Fight with junior doctors over a new staffing contract. Junior doctors have complained Mr Hunt incorrectly forced the contract on NHS employers.

Justice for Health, a group founded by five doctors said health secretary acted beyond the scope of his powers by forcing NHS employers to accept the new staffing contract.

Dr Fran Silman, Dr Amar Mashru, Dr Nadia Masood, Dr Ben White and Dr Marie-Estella McVeigh founded the Justice for Health. They argued the contract was “unsafe and unsustainable”. They claimed Hunt’s decision to impose the contract on NHS Employers should be quashed.

Last week, Mr Justice Green has analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London, ruled in favour of the Health Secretary. He concluded that health secretary had approved the new contract but had not forced employers to adopt it.

The judge said the conclusion was sufficiently clear and was not illogical. He added that the trust had the liberty as employers to decide whether they did force the contract on doctors.

The court hearing follows opposition to health secretary plans for seven-day NHS services in England.

Junior doctors have conducted six separate strikes over the new contract so far – but junior doctors strikes planned for October, November and December have been called off by British Medical Association (BMA) because of fears over patient safety.

The Department of Health (DoH) spokesperson said the health department welcome the clear decision by the judge and urge the BMA to remove the thread of additional industrial action after Mr Hunt won a high court battle over a junior doctors new contract.

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