Junior Doctors are to take further strike action in Cumbria later this month in their long running dispute with the government. 

The BMA’s junior doctors committee (JDC) has announced further strike dates in England, from February 24 to February 28, after the government failed to make an 'improved pay offer' according to the union. 

The British Medical Association (BMA) has previously called for a 35 per cent pay rise for junior doctors after a ‘real terms’ pay cut of 26 per cent since 2008.

Last summer, the government gave junior doctors in England an average rise of 8.8 per cent, but medics said the increase was not enough and ramped up strike efforts.

However, the junior doctors committee believes the forthcoming strikes can still be called off if a credible offer is made.

BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said:   “We have made every effort to work with the Government in finding a fair solution to this dispute whilst trying to avoid strike action. Even yesterday we were willing to delay further strike action in exchange for a short extension of our current strike mandate. Had the Health Secretary agreed to this, an act of good faith on both sides, talks could have gone ahead without more strikes. Sadly, the Government declined.

“From the very start of the industrial action, we have been clear that there is no need for strike action as long as substantial progress is made, and we remain willing to carry on talking and to cancel the forthcoming strikes if significant progress is made and a credible offer is put forward.  

"This will be the last action of our current mandate, but we are already balloting for six months more. Even now we are willing to put off these strikes to find a solution – it’s in the Health Secretary’s hands."

More than 300 medical appointments were postponed across West Cumbria as junior doctors staged strike action across the festive period.

North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) had warned patients of potential disruption during the strike action and told residents to use NHS services ‘wisely’ during the strike action.

READ MORE: 'Future of general practice at stake' across Cumbria, says report

NCIC said that postposing appointments was ‘frustrating’ but said it was working to reschedule them ‘as soon as possible’.

Health secretary Victoria Atkins said: "This action called by the BMA Junior Doctor Committee does not signal that they are ready to be reasonable.

"We urged them to put an offer to their members, but they refused.

"Five days of action will put enormous pressure on the NHS and is not in the spirit of constructive dialogue."