Junior doctors in England are to stage a fresh four-day strike next month in a long-running dispute over pay.
The British Medical Association (BMA) announced the walkouts from 11 to 15 August, which could see thousands of patients’ operations and appointments cancelled.
The union said the planned industrial action, which will start and end at 7am, was the “next round of monthly strike action” as it called for the Government to return to the negotiating table.
Health service leaders have demanded an end to the dispute after industrial action in England over the last eight months saw 819,000 appointments, operations and procedures postponed.
Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, warned the Government that junior doctors “are not going anywhere”.
In a joint statement, they said: “It should never have got to the point where we needed to announce a fifth round of strike action.
“The Prime Minister has told us that talks are over but it is not for Rishi Sunak to decide that negotiations are over before he has even stepped in the room.
“This dispute will end only at the negotiating table. If the Prime Minister was hoping to demoralise and divide our profession with his actions, he will be disappointed.”
The strikes did not need to go ahead if a “credible offer” was made to junior doctors, who have lost more than a quarter of their pay in fifteen years, they added.
It comes after it was revealed more than 67,000 hospital appointments and procedures in England were cancelled due to a recent strike by consultants.
More than 65,000 patient and outpatient appointments were rescheduled as a result of the industrial action called by the BMA from 20 to 22 July.
Earlier this month the Government announced pay increases for millions of public sector workers, including doctors.
Junior doctors would receive a 6 per cent rise and an additional consolidated £1,250 increase, with hospital consultants also getting a 6 per cent pay increase.
The Prime Minister insisted the deal was the “final offer” and that there will be “no more talks on pay”.