Richard Madeley inaccurately describes junior doctors on Good Morning Britain

Richard Madeley inaccurately describes junior doctors on Good Morning Britain

Related video: Health secretary calls junior doctors 'in training’ amid ongoing strike row

Breakfast, BBC

Richard Madeley, the broadcaster often compared to Alan Partridge due to multiple TV blunders on Good Morning Britain, has now angered viewers after he inaccurately referred to junior doctors – currently on strike in a dispute over pay and work conditions – as “apprentices”.

As the doctors start what is the longest strike in NHS history, Madeley and co-host Susanna Reid quizzed contributors Andrew Pierce (of the Daily Mail) and Ash Sarkar (of Novara Media) about how the industrial action could be resolved.

After Sarkar suggested the government end its policy of not negotiating “when strikes are on the table”, Madeley remarked: “What about the point that a lot of people make which are that junior doctors are, in effect, apprentices?

“Lots of juniors and professionals don’t get paid very much, but on the horizon, there are big bucks on offer.”

Sarkar quickly intervened: “Just on a point of fact, they’re not apprentices, they’re fully qualified … Regardless of what you call them, they’re fully qualified doctors.”

It comes almost two weeks after Victoria Atkins, the health and social care secretary, sparked fury for branding junior doctors “doctors in training” during appearances on breakfast television.

“We’ve managed to find a fair and reasonable settlement for speciality doctors as well. The last cohort is that of junior doctors - or ‘doctors in training’ as I prefer to call them – and they sadly, to my great disappointment, they walked out of our negotiations and then called these strikes,” she told BBC Breakfast.

The British Medical Association (BMA) defines junior doctors as “qualified doctors in clinical training”, with a medical degree and up to nine years of experience as a hospital doctor, or up to five years working to become a GP.

They all work under the supervision of a senior doctor, as they are not yet qualified to practise independently.

In a news release published in July, the BMA cited a survey which found three-quarters of respondents found the term ‘junior doctor’ to be inappropriate, and mentioned a motion at the 2023 Annual Representative Meeting calling for the trade union to drop the term, which was passed in full.

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