JUNIOR doctors are planning a protest in Glasgow to show solidarity with colleagues in England who are considering industrial action over a new contract which they believe will force through unsafe working practices and put patients at risk.

Junior medics will gather in George Square tomorrow [Tuesday] night in support of young medics south of the Border as the British Medical Association prepares to ballot members for strike action.

Only junior doctors in England are affected, as both the Scottish and Welsh devolved governments have promised to maintain the existing contract.

Northern Ireland, which is currently without a health minister due to political turmoil at Stormont, has yet to reach a final decision.

The BMA believes that the proposed reforms are "unsafe and unfair" and will cut junior doctors' pay by up to a third by removing the pay boosts they currently receive for working evenings and Saturdays, which will be treated as regular hours.

Other pay supplements could also be axed from some specialities.

The new contract would come into force from August 2016.

Dr Malcolm White, a junior doctor based in Glasgow, and initial organiser of the event said: "I saw the tide of strong feeling about the issue, particularly from colleagues in England, and wanted a way to show support. I suggested the idea of gathering in Glasgow to demonstrate solidarity and the response was overwhelming. Colleagues I had never met before came forward to help."

The BMA warns that the new contract in England will remove vital protections on safe working patterns, devalue evening and weekend work, and make under-recruited specialities such as Emergency Medicine and General Practice less attractive.

Doctors believe this will jeopardise patient safety and the NHS as a whole.

Junior doctors in Scotland will gather for the George Square rally from 7pm.