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GPs go forth

Hunt orders independent review of trainees' morale

The health secretary has commissioned an independent review of junior doctor’s morale, training and support, following yesterday’s contract imposition.

Jeremy Hunt said it was ‘paramount’ that we look at issues of junior doctors’ morale, and that Professor Dame Sue Bailey, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, will look at relationships between trainees and their employers, and how they’re affected by short placements.

But GP training leaders have said that trainees are predominantly demoralised by Jeremy Hunt’s imposition of the contract that will classify Saturdays as regular working hours. 

It comes as the chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, Dr Johann Malawana, today urged trainees to request urgent meetings with their hospital’s chief executives to discuss the realities of the contract imposition.

The secretary of state says the contract contains significant concessions on the original proposal backed by the Department of Health and NHS Employers but was rejected by the BMA on Tuesday ahead of a second day of strike action.

Mr Hunt said on appointing Professor Bailey: ’It is paramount that we address the deep-seated issues relating to junior doctors’ morale, wellbeing and quality of life.

’Providing a fair, safe contract is one element of that but it is vitally important that doctors get additional support around training and education, working conditions and flexible holiday that enables them to achieve their full potential, and values them for the dedication they give to patients and the NHS.’

The review will look at:

  • Relationships between junior doctors and their employers, and how they’re affected by short placements;
  • Relationships between hospitals and their doctors and their senior medical colleagues, and the impact on their career development;
  • The impact of workload pressures on juniors ability to take up training opportunities;
  • Working environments, facilities and bullying;
  • Flexibility around annual leave and notice periods ahead of future placements.

But GP representatives have said the imposition itself could further worsen recruitment to general practice and that the imposition had left trainees ‘demoralised’.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GPC’s education, training and workforce subcommittee, told Pulse: ‘There is little doubt that GP trainees will, like other junior doctors, be demoralised by the imposition of this unfair contract.

‘This is bound to have a direct impact on GP trainee numbers. It is time for the government to stop burying its head in the sand and listen to the concerns of tens of thousands of junior doctors who are the backbone of our health service.’

Meanwhile, representatives from action group GP Survival have called for the RCGP to discuss with GP registrars considering resignation how their training attainment could be preserved, or their options for returning.

Dr Zoe Norris told Pulse: ‘GP registrars, like all juniors are prepared to take the next step if needed – whether that’s further strike action or looking at resignations.’

She added: ‘We would like the RCGPs to come out and say that, in the event that juniors did resign from their training they would still recognise that training.’

A petition set up yesterday calling for Mr Hunt to reverse his decision and return to meaningful negotiations has attracted 65,000 signatures, more than half way to the 100,000 required to be considered for a parliamentary debate.

Readers' comments (40)

  • Hunt orders independent review of trainees' morale -- WTF !!!

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  • The only morale booster in this profession is MR Hunt is sacked or resigns NOW!

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  • Hunt must have had fun planning all these tactics!
    What laughs he and his collegues much have had anticipating the responses from the juniors. He knew full well that he would sound reasonable to the general public who know nothing different but it would antagonise juniors to the extreme.
    It seems everything he could be accused of, he accuses someone else of doing it first!!!!
    Blaming the BMA instread of himself for misleading the juniors about the contract- when knowing full well they could understand full well themselves, then looking into doctors morale IMMEDIATELY after himself knowingly driving it into the ground.
    All was planned and all extremely cynical and only for show/spin!

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  • Morale is low in a stalinist, something for nothing system like the NHS/ UK etc

    if your a young gun in need of a morale boost

    ditch the country comrades and leave hunt and the cardiagans!!!!!

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  • Beyond a joke now. Cuts your throat then asks you how you're feeling. Moron.

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  • Actuaĺly it is extremely clever as his mode of operandi is to immediately deflect the blame as soon as he does something unpopular.
    He deliberately does not directly blame or attack the junior doctors (as this would be too obvious and unpopular) just someone else, which also makes the doctors look dumb.
    All spin and very cunning, even pathologically so....

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  • the beatings will continue until morale improves.
    the whole debacle is laughable if it wasn't so serious

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    Agent Hunt , you are my idol !
    Black becomes white , white becomes black .
    Good move to shift people's attention away from the main issue.
    Working environment , facilities and bullying.... Seriously !
    The one who talks about controversy is exactly the person of controversy: those who bullied the juniors are exactly the one working in the hierarchy and they are your subordinates , duh!
    Those who really are going to conduct this review , please go home and look at your mirror . Can you still recognise your reflection ??

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  • for all the naysayers - Jeremy does care !

    the conclusion of the investigation will be;

    1. the BMA is to blame
    2. drs are frustrated that they don't get enough time for training or enough time with the consumer therefore longer hours are needed
    3. pay is not the issue and so pay can be reduced further so that it doesn't distract trainees
    4. they need more tartar sauce in the canteen (simpsons)

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  • The conclusion will be trinee's should do more reflections to boost their morale.

    I'm getting out of here as soon as I can.

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  • Absolutely knew this would happen. This (h)unt is a very tricky politician.
    There will be a review of morale for GPs then Consultants then nurses after each have a new contract negotiated oh forgot imposed on them/us.
    The reviews will not tell them anything that the politicians haven't already heard.
    The job is not going to get any safer or less onerous just more for less. Yes less money less time with family more stress more personal ill health more GMC more CQC more exams more tickboxing more dumping more social care more everything. It is going to get worse being a GP.
    leaving profession next month and joining a firm of accountants.

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  • An e-mail just sent to a bunch of MPs... and some of my contacts. Feel free to amend, to pass on.

    "Dear all,

    I think most of us now realize that Mr Hunt is one of the biggest threats that the NHS is facing today. Time and again he has shown total disregard for health care professionals, culminating in recent imposition of junior doctors contract. What's next for agent Hunt? He must be stopped.
    I know there are many of us are overworked and demoralized, and see no point in fighting on. After all the Parliament have already debated one petition for his resignation, and there he is, still reforming to the best of his abilities. This is the same Parliament who have approved their own pay to rise by more than 11%. Somehow it comes as no surprise that savings must be found elsewhere.
    Having said that, I do believe, that there are (some) decent people there. And second time round they may really engage both their cognition and conscience in the debate.
    Below is a link to a petition to consider a vote of no confidence in Mr Hunt.

    Please pass it on.

    Dr Vardan Tadevosyan, GP
    Tinkers Lane Surgery
    Royal Wootton Bassett"

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  • surely this is the definition of irony?

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  • Astounded yet again by the height of this creatures hypocrisy

    If he has taken the nuclear option the whole profession should unite and go thermonuclear on it

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • MR Hunt or the NHS.

    Parliament to sit on Saturdays which should be a "normal working day" for MPs.

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  • Agree,

    "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

    is the current DoH mantra.

    I feel like emigrating to the Pitcairn islands...

    Either that or we somehow get Mr Hunt sent there.

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  • Ask yourselves why Sue Bailey was picked for the job. Hunt would never have chosen someone he could not trust to give the "right" answers

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  • Vinci Ho

    The OECD review on health care was just published :
    OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: United Kingdom 2016
    Take your pick of 'which country':

    The UK as a whole likely puts more energy into health care quality improvement initiatives than any other country in the world, and as a result has many innovative policies of international repute. Yet despite this, the quality of health care in the UK is no better than average.
    In England, the balance between central governance and accountability, and local innovation, needs revisiting. Governance has shifted too far towards top-down regulation, which doesn’t leave enough space for local innovation, and risks disempowerment and distrust amongst those providing care. Additionally, there has been a proliferation of national agencies, reviews and policies that address quality, leading to a somewhat congested and fragmented field of actors.
    Scotland needs to look for ways to support bottom-up approaches with stronger national frameworks, for instance by establishing a national adverse events reporting system. Scotland should also reconsider whether the mixing of scrutiny and quality improvement activity within Healthcare Improvement Scotland represents a conflict of interest. The mix of these roles means that the system’s inspector risks “marking its own homework”.
    In Wales, while local autonomy and innovation is encouraged, local Health Boards (established in 2009) do not appear to have sufficient institutional and technical capacity to drive meaningful innovation and quality gains. A stronger central guiding hand is now needed to play a more prescriptive role.
    In Northern Ireland, commissioning and performance management of health and social care have been integrated for over 40 years, and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has strategic oversight over both health and social care. Northern Ireland could now do more to better exploit this collaborative structure to deliver more integrated and person-centred care.

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  • Vinci Ho

    ....too far towards top-down regulation.... In England.,,,
    Getting rid of the health secretary is a first step!

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  • ha ha ha its like having the mother-in-law in your house telling ya all wha to do :D

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