HUMZA Yousaf has reiterated the Scottish Governments offer to mediate talks between the UK Government and junior doctors and consultants after a joint strike was announced for the first time in the history of the health service.

The co-ordinated industrial action is set to take place in September and October, the British Medical Association (BMA) said.

The offer from Yousaf comes after Scottish health secretary Michael Matheson wrote to his UK counterpart Steve Barclay offering to mediate new talks between the parties after the Scottish Government managed to avert strike action.

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Junior doctors north of the Border accepted a 12.4% pay boost which BMA Scotland said set the country apart "from what is happening elsewhere in the UK".

The First Minister posted on X, formally known as Twitter, in reaction to the new action announcement: “In Scotland we have avoided a single day of strikes in our NHS because we have offered our hardworking NHS staff a fair pay uplift.

"That's why the @scotgov has offered to mediate between NHS staff in England and the UK Government, I hope @SteveBarclay will take us up on our offer."

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It is unclear whether there has been any response from the UK health secretary.

In what has been described as a “serious escalation” in their row with the Government over pay, both consultants and junior doctors will strike together on October 2, 3 and 4.

Consultants had already announced plans to walk out for 48 hours from September 19, and will be joined by their junior colleagues on September 20.

Junior doctors will then continue their strike on September 21 and 22. Staff will work on a “Christmas day cover” basis for both spells of industrial action, meaning emergency care will continue to be provided.

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It comes after junior doctors voted in favour to continuing strike action, with the BMA’s mandate on industrial action renewed for another six months.

The union has now told Prime Minister Rishi Sunak he has “nowhere to hide”.

Matheson (above) said he believes he can help in the dispute in England, adding he was happy to host talks in Edinburgh or London.

He said: “I would like to offer the services of myself and my officials to mediate new talks between the UK Government and the BMA Junior Doctors’ representatives.

“Given the low ebb of relations between the UK Government and the representatives of NHS England staff I believe such mediation may be necessary to bring these matters to a conclusion that benefits patients.

“The Scottish Government will be happy to host such talks either in Edinburgh or London.”