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GPs go forth

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

Salford chief executive Sir David Dalton makes his ‘final offer’ to the BMA

  • 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.

Read the full letter here

Dr Johann Malawana’s reply to the ‘final 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.

Read the full letter here

Sir David tells Jeremy Hunt that there is nowhere to go with further negotiations

  • 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.’

Read the full letter here

Jeremy Hunt announces he is imposing the contract

Read the full speech here, and the full story here




Readers' comments (7)

  • Trade Unions gave us a two-day weekend.

    This government has pulled this away from junior doctors. The rest of the population - at least those employed by or contracted to the government - can expect the same.

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  • The British Public must be advised that insistence on equal medical presence seven days a week without non-medically qualified staff e.g. nurses, laboratory, radiology etc being equally available will dilute "Care"throughout the entire week.

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  • Lions lead by donkeys, albeit donkeys with their own Hard Left political agenda.
    The public understands that humans become ill at weekends.
    The public does not understand, nor does it care about the minutiae of contract negotiations.
    Waving a placard "Save our NHS" ("but not on Saturday or Sunday")did not impress the man down the pub.
    The BMA needs a lesson in realpolitik not agitprop.

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  • Peter English (1.52 pm) is correct- this will open the door to a similar expectation of expected / required Saturday cover in future Primary Care contracts...Also whilst CEOs of a number of hospital trusts have come out against the imposition of this new contract, Foundation trusts can offer their own / local contract in lieu of an imposed national contract. This may be better than the imposed one, but it might be worse- this will have effect of removing the national contractual standard.... maybe this was one of JH's intentions in the first place?

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  • Identify the protestors and sack them.There's no shortage of youngsters wanting to do medicine.

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  • There is no shortage of youngsters wanting to do medicine indeed. As there is no shortage of other, better paid, jobs either. It is also becoming easier to switch carriers, emigrate etc. Lets not forget about the quality of those wanting to do medicine either.

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  • This misgovernment is by far the worst and most stupid in living memory

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