Talks to resolve junior doctors' dispute set to continue
Talks aimed at resolving a dispute over a new contract for junior doctors are set to continue later on Monday.
Last week arbitration service Acas announced that five days of "intensive" talks had been held between the British Medical Association (BMA), Government officials and that they would resume after the weekend for up to three more days.
Chairman of Acas, Sir Brendan Barber, said: "Both parties have committed themselves over the whole of this week to highly intensive negotiations in an effort to resolve this long running dispute.
"The talks have been conducted in a constructive and positive atmosphere. In my judgment some real progress has been made to address outstanding issues.
"I reached the view, however, in the last 24 hours that a limited amount of additional time would be needed to give the process a chance of reaching a successful conclusion."
The views of NHS Employers and the Government are being represented by Sir David Dalton, who was involved in the original talks and heads up Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, while the BMA is being represented by Dr Johann Malawana.
There are hopes on both sides that a final agreement can be reached that deals with the crucial issue of Saturday pay.
The BMA has said any deal would need to be put before junior doctors in a ballot, though that is expected to take several weeks.
Junior doctors stopped providing emergency care for the first time in NHS history during their most recent walkout.
More than 125,000 appointments and operations were cancelled and will need to be rearranged, on top of almost 25,000 procedures cancelled during previous action.