Thank you Phil for your letter sent at 20:42 today, the 9th February.
I am happy to make clear my response at this stage, so that there is no uncertainty for your members or employers. My apologies that the late hour means that my response is by email and not in a formal letter.
NHS leaders are deeply concerned both at the fact of the action the JDC are choosing to take in late February, and also for the decision to strike for an extended period of five days. They would join me in urging the JDC to instead focus on finding a way to resume and conclude negotiations with the government.
I know that you yesterday asked the Secretary of State to consider the question of an extension to the present JDC strike mandate. I want to be clear that her response is one I support and, in any event, I do not have the ability to direct NHS organisations to accede to your request.
Chief Executive, NHS Employers