Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that a potential agreement has been reached between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the government which could see strike action by junior doctors suspended.
He told the Commons that he was now sitting with members of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee to see whether they could support the move.
But he said strikes across England planned from 8am tomorrow was still due to go ahead.
Mr Hunt said: “I’m pleased to report [that] discussions led to a potential agreement early this afternoon between the BMA leadership and the Government.
“This agreement would allow a time-limited period during which negotiations can take place and during which the BMA agrees to suspend strike action and the Government agrees not to proceed unilaterally with implementing a new contract.”
Ministers drew up plans to change the contract of junior doctors in 2012, but talks broke down last year. Government health bosses plan to impose the new contract next year in England.
The plans include an 11 per cent rise in basic pay for doctors,
However, guaranteed pay increases linked to time in the job are being scrapped and replaced with a system linked to progression through set training stages.
The BMA has argued that people who take time out to have a baby will be unfairly penalised against.
The Government also plans to cut the number of hours during the working week that are classed as unsociable, which the BMA says has an impact on doctors pay.