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Government willing to 'pause' introduction of junior doctor contract

The Academy of Medical colleges have proposed a five day suspension of the imposistion and further industrial action

The Government will be willing to ‘pause’ the introduction of the new junior doctor contract next week in order to resume talks with the BMA, following an intervention by the medical colleges.

Health minister Lord Prior announced in Parliament today that the Government would resume talks if the Junior Doctors Committee is willing to focus on the ’outstanding contractual issues, namely unsocial hours and Saturday pay’.

The JDC meets this weekend, and the BMA has said that they have been wanting to return to the negotiating table ‘since day one’.

The potential breakthrough comes after the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges made the suggestion of a five day pause ‘without ifs, buts and maybes’ with both sides ‘committing to a serious attempt to reach a resolution’.

The BMA has already carried out a series of strikes, including an all out strike last week that saw junior doctors withdrawing all labour, including emergency care.

It has called on the Government to return to the negotiating table after health secretary Jeremy Hunt imposed a contract on them, which would see junior doctors receiving less money for working on Saturdays.

A statement from the AoMRC this morning said:  ’With the dispute between Junior Doctors and the Government deadlocked, and patients continuing to face real difficulties as a result, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is today calling for a five day pause in the process of imposition of a new contract and a five day suspension of the threat of further industrial action so that talks can be resumed.

’Both sides have an over-riding duty to put patients first and should remember that lives are potentially at risk. To date, hundreds of thousands of treatments and procedures have been postponed, millions of pounds have been wasted and many junior doctors are considering alternative careers or moving abroad; all of these developments will put a potentially unsustainable strain on an already under-resourced system, both in the short term, and for years to come.’

Following the statement, Lord Prior said in the House of Lords: ’The secretary of state for health will write to Academy of Medical Royal Colleges later this morning explaining we are willing to pause introduction of new contract for five days from Monday should the JDC agree to focus the discussion on the outstanding contractual issues, namely unsocial hours and Saturday pay.

Dr Johann Malawana, JDC chair, said: ’Junior doctors have said since the outset that we want to reach a negotiated agreement, and have repeatedly urged the government to re-enter talks.

’As suggested by the Academy, we are keen to restart talks with an open mind. It is critical to find a way forward on all the outstanding issues - which are more than just pay - and hope that a new offer is made that can break the impasse.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • A " pause " in imposition ??????? WTF ?

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  • Vinci Ho

    So it was the Chief Exec of NHSE to do your job and announce the five years GP forward view.
    It was now Lord Prior to make the announcement of a 'pause' of this imposition .
    And you can hide away from the public and people and the taxpayers are paying your salary! Seriously?Do you still know the words 'honour' and 'shame' , Agent Hunt?

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  • Huntus Maximus should do the decent thing and fall on his sword. At least it would get rid of the political posturing and enable some genuine dialogue to take place . Any decent human would do this if they cared about their fellows and not self aggrandizement. I'm sure under all that braggadocio there is a reasonable person with integrity . I could be wrong . Time will show.

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  • Don't hold your breath.

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  • Hopeless Useless No-good Twit

    Mr Hunt a negotiator?

    He will sitting there playing with his phone.

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  • BMA should have refused to meet Mr Hunt. The royal colleges deal was no ifs, no buts or maybes. Then Mr Hunt puts in the conditions he will not discuss 90% of the contract and only deal with saturday pay. there is much more at stake for the NHS and our Juniors. For BMA it is a no win!

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  • 5 day pause? Does this mean contract will be imposed on 6th August instead of 1st August? ie when they have completed a few days induction training. Keep going junior doctors!

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  • This is boll*cks!
    How can you "pause" something that hasn't started?
    This bit of nonsense means absolutely nothing and should be ignored - junior doctors should keep their options open and plan for their next move.
    Power to the people!

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  • Do you think someone gave them the heads up about the study being published blasting their reasoning for the imposition of new contract out of the water.Was the rat wearing a cardigan.

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