How the end of imposition of the junior doctor contract unfolded
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt imposed a contract on junior doctors on 11 February. Here is what happened in the days leading up to the imposition
- Sir David, who was appointed by the Government to broker a deal with the BMA, wrote to the chair of the junior doctors committee, Dr Johann Malawana, and BMA council chair, Dr Mark Porter, with a ‘final offer’ on Tuesday 9 February.
- It offered to change the definition of ‘plain time’, so that hours outside of Monday to Friday 7am to 9pm and Saturday 7am to 5pm would be considered unsociable.
- It would also pay premium rates to junior doctors who worked one in four weekends. This, he said, would mean the ‘majority’ of trainees working on a Saturday would receive premium pay, compared with 15% of trainees in the original offer.
- The offer would give mor emoney to junior doctors working non-resident on call.
- Sir David proposed that doctors would receive 200% pay if they breached the European Working Time Directive, up from 150% under the previous offer.
- The chair of the junior doctors committee wrote to health secretary Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday 10 February - the day of the strike - saying that he ‘recognised the movement made by your negotiators’, but the BMA has made movement itself.
- He reiterrated the JDC’s offer to reduce basic pay, and increase the pay of junior doctors working on a Saturday - which was cost neutral.
- Dr Malawana said that, by accepting this model, Mr Hunt would conclude the dispute.
- The letter tells the health secretary that the BMA ‘refused to compromise on its insistence that the whole of Saturday must be paid at premium rate’.
- He concludes: ’Following consultation with chief executives and other leaders in the service, it is clear that the NHS needs certainty on this contract and that a continuation of a dispute, with a stalemate and without any clear ending, would be harmful to service continuity, with adverse consequences to patients.’
- He adds:’On this basis I therefore advise the Government to do whatever it deems necessary to end uncertainty for the service and to make sure that a new contract is in place which is as close as possible to the final position put forward to the BMA yesterday.’
- The health secretary told Parliament that he had ’decided to proceed’ with the imposition following instruction from Sir David Dalton.
- The contract would redefine the definition of ‘plain time’ to include Saturday from 7am to 5pm and pay a premium of 30% for Saturday ‘plain time’ working, if the doctor works one in four weekends.