Dalton appointed to engage with junior doctors over contract dispute

Salford Royal’s Sir David Dalton has been appointed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to engage with junior doctors on behalf of the government in an attempt to avoid planned strike action.

Dalton is the chief executive of the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and has been at the forefront of plans to accelerate the conversion of foundation trusts, publishing a government commissioned review in late 2014.

Junior doctors have planned to take industrial action as talks again broke down between the British Medical Association (BMA) and Hunt on 4 January.

Hunt has said that Dalton’s appointment will ‘facilitate further constructive discussion’.

He added: “In the negotiations he will partner with NHS Employers and be assisted by a wider group of trust chief executives and medical directors. He has a reputation for engaging with staff and stands ready to work with you to agree a fair settlement for doctors and patients.”

If the two sides fail to compromise, three strikes are currently planned, with the first taking place from 8 am Tuesday 12 January to 8 am Wednesday 13 January (emergency care staffed), the second from 8 am Tuesday 26 to 8 am Thursday 28 January (emergency care staffed) and the third from 8 am to 5 pm Wednesday 10 February (full walk-out).

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