Junior doctors have called off the first of their 24 hour strikes, but hospitals across England still face major disruption after thousands of operations are cancelled.

The British Medical Association (BMA) agreed to suspend the mass walk-out that had been due to begin at 08:00 GMT on Tuesday after progress was made in discussions with NHS Employers and the Department of Health over working conditions and pay.

However, the late cancellation of the strike meant that hospitals had already cancelled operations and treatment for ore than 4,000 patients.

The BMA has also suspended the two further strikes organised later in December.

The breakthrough in discussions came during talks at conciliation service Acas, and both sides will now spend the next few weeks going over the details of the proposed agreement.

However, a joint statement published by Acas makes it clear that the suspension of the strikes is only temporary and the BMA has until 13 of January to restart a programme of industrial action if the next round of talks fail to build on this groundwork.


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