Dr Richard Rawlins, secretary, South Devon Division, BMA, writes:

The withdrawal by junior doctors of their intention to strike is welcomed by all. But it is only through their case being brought to the High Court that an apparent U-turn in the Secretary of State for Health’s position has been achieved.

It turns out Mr Hunt is not imposing a contract, as he had said on TV. He claimed in court he never was.

Although patients will be pleased doctors are not going to strike (in the immediate future), many doctors simply do not trust Mr Hunt and they question his underlying motives. If doctors work to rule and, for example, explain to each patient why they are concerned about patient safety, getting consent (as they must) will take a very long time. The system may grind to a halt.

If Mr Hunt had lifted the imposition earlier, he might have avoided the strikes that resulted in thousands of operations being cancelled.

It is disappointing that he has only chosen to act at the 11th hour, and only in an apparent attempt to save his own skin.

The doctors’ legal challenge was to stop Mr Hunt’s imposition; they have done that, so in fact the victory is theirs. The judge clarified that there is a window of opportunity for junior doctors to re-open negotiations with their employers.

As the employers agree that the seven-day NHS plans are impossible to deliver, perhaps we can now have a sensible dialogue about how to move forward.

Jeremy Hunt’s Machiavellian tactics will never be forgotten or forgiven by this generation of junior doctors, even when they become seniors. Luckily, health secretaries come and go.

The overwhelming public support over the past year has been the tonic to the pain inflicted by Jeremy Hunt.

It has kept junior doctors motivated and ensured that the vast majority have committed to stay working within the NHS, so securing NHS services for future generations.