The following statement has been issued by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow:
"The current dispute between the UK Government and doctors in training in England and Wales has caused considerable unrest across our profession and with the general public. The Surgical Royal Colleges are concerned by the ongoing impasse.
"The new contract proposed by the Government today represents a potential starting point for negotiation and we urge all those involved to take this opportunity to re-engage in discussion. However, it is crucial that both sides approach these negotiations with openness and honesty. As we have stressed before, an imposed settlement is the wrong way to bring about contractual changes.
"For the first time in many years, the spectre of industrial action has arisen in healthcare. The Colleges are unanimous that such action would be damaging to all those concerned, both doctors and patients. As organisations dedicated to upholding standards for training and practice in surgery, we ask all concerned to re-enter negotiations afresh.
"Doctors in training are vital to the ability of the NHS to provide 7-day care for patients. They are integral to the delivery of safe, high-quality patient care and we value them as the future providers of healthcare for all of us."
Mr Ian K Ritchie, President Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Miss Clare Marx, President Royal College of Surgeons of England
Dr Frank Dunn, President Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow