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Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Junior doctors play a critical role in the NHS, work incredibly hard in high pressure roles, and have a range of legitimate non-pay concerns about their training. These now have to be comprehensively addressed by hospitals, the medical royal colleges, and the national training bodies. But drawn out industrial action over contracts and pay would mean further disruption to patients who are relying on NHS care, with thousands more operations cancelled and check-ups delayed. That’s why Sir David Dalton – one of the health service’s most experienced and fair minded hospital leaders – was called in to negotiate a fair and workable settlement, and it’s why it’s incredibly disappointing that he has today reported that there is ‘no realistic prospect of a negotiated agreement’. Under these highly regrettable and entirely avoidable circumstances, hospitals are rightly calling for an end to the uncertainty, and the implementation of the compromise package the Dalton team are recommending.”