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Junior doctors lose High Court battle over staffing contract

Jeremy Hunt wins High Court battle with junior doctors over complaint that he had gone beyond the scope of his powers.
Law and medicine

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has won a High Court fight with junior doctors over a staffing contract.

Junior doctors had complained that Mr Hunt wrongly imposed the contract on NHS employers.

Justice for Health, a group founded by five doctors, said Mr Hunt acted beyond the scope of his powers by compelling NHS employers to adopt the new deal.

Mr Hunt said the complaint was without substance.

High Court ruling

Mr Justice Green, who analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London last week, ruled in favour of Mr Hunt today.

Justice for Health founded by doctors Nadia Masood, Ben White, Fran Silman, Amar Mashru and Marie-Estella McVeigh said Mr Hunt's decision to impose the contract lacked a sound or rational foundation and should be quashed.

Mr Justice Green concluded that Mr Hunt had approved the contract, but had

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has won a High Court fight with junior doctors over a staffing contract.

Junior doctors had complained that Mr Hunt wrongly imposed the contract on NHS employers.

Justice for Health, a group founded by five doctors, said Mr Hunt acted beyond the scope of his powers by compelling NHS employers to adopt the new deal.

Mr Hunt said the complaint was without substance.

High Court ruling

Mr Justice Green, who analysed evidence at a High Court hearing in London last week, ruled in favour of Mr Hunt today.

Justice for Health – founded by doctors Nadia Masood, Ben White, Fran Silman, Amar Mashru and Marie-Estella McVeigh – said Mr Hunt's decision to impose the contract lacked a sound or rational foundation and should be quashed.

Mr Justice Green concluded that Mr Hunt had approved the contract, but had not compelled employers to adopt it.

Decision 'not irrational'

The judge said the decision was sufficiently clear and was not irrational.

The litigation follows opposition to Mr Hunt's plans for seven-day NHS services in England.

Junior doctors began strikes, the longest of which has lasted 2 days, in January.

The court case follows a decision last weekend by the British Medical Association, which represents doctors, to suspend industrial action by junior doctors planned for October, November and December.

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