Hospital consultants suspend strike action in NI

Senior doctors
Senior doctors have suspended taking any strike action for now [BBC]

Consultants in Northern Ireland have suspended their forthcoming industrial action.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced that the Department of Health have put forward a credible pay offer that it wishes to explore further.

The senior doctors were due to take part in a 24-hour walk out from 26 to 27 June.

The decision had been voted for as part of a long-running dispute over pay.

Dr David Farren, chair of the BMA Northern Ireland’s consultants' committee, said: “We have agreed to suspend our strike action while we discuss the proposals the department has made.

"Striking is still an option, but in suspending the strike we have made a signification step, and we are hopeful we can present a credible offer to members soon."

Health Minister Mike Nesbitt welcomed the decision to suspend the industrial action.

"This helps create space for constructive and productive negotiations on a credible way forward," he said.

In June, 92% of consultants voted in favour of going on strike after a five-week ballot.

There was a 69% turnout for the ballot.