JUNIOR doctors in south Devon are joining today’s national industrial action.

The British Medical Association’s dispute has led to junior doctors working for Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust taking part.

During the action, which runs from this morning until 6.59am on Thursday, March 16, the junior doctors are staging a 72 hour walkout.

The pay dispute is asking for an increase to junior doctors pay which, has been suggested to equate to about £14 an hour, as well as safeguarding the retention of doctors to the profession. 

A spokesman for Torbay and South DevonNHS Trust said: ‘This industrial action is a national dispute between the government and trades unions about terms and conditions. 

‘We are committed to keeping disruption to our services to a minimum on these dates, and we have measures in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our patients and our staff. 

‘Please continue to attend your planned appointments unless we have contacted you to say it will be re-arranged.

‘Thank you for your support and understanding.’

The BMA is asking to achieve full pay restoration to reverse the steep decline in pay faced by junior doctors since 2008 and 2009.

It is asking for an agreed mechanism with the Government to prevent any future declines against the cost of living and inflation.

The union is asking for reform of the Doctors and Dentists Review Body to process so that pay increases can be recommended independently and fairly to safeguard the recruitment and retention of junior doctors.

It says junior doctors have experienced a cut of more than 25per cent to their salaries since 2008/09. 

And that the ‘lack of investment in wages by the Government has made it harder to recruit and retain junior doctor’. 

The BMA said: ‘This puts further pressure on the NHS and makes it harder to deliver care to the standards expected by professionals. 

‘The Government continues to refuse to negotiate with the BMA on union doctor pay restoration leaving us with no choice but to call for a NHS junior doctors' strike.’

The strike action will involve a full 72-hour walkout.