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Judicial review to examine impact of junior doctor contract on patient safety

NHS staff and patients are looking to initiate a judicial review on the impact of the new imposed junior doctors’ contract on ‘patient safety and stability of the NHS’.

This planned review is broader than the BMA’s review on the Government’s failure to carry out an equality impact assessment before imposing the new contract and will consider all Government decisions that led to the contract imposition.

Dr Ben White, one of the leaders of the #JustHealth campaign, said: ‘The imposition of the junior doctors’ contract affects all NHS service users. Staff know that the lack of workforce planning, lack of cost modelling, plus rota and staffing issues, create a perfect storm where patient safety will inevitably be compromised.

’We must challenge this contract in the High Court. A judicial review would consider all relevant factors and hold the Government accountable for decisions it has made. Ultimately, this is about public safety.’

According to the group, as part of the review the health secretary would have to provide evidence to justify his decisions in relation to the contract and ‘show that they are reasonable, viable and legal’.

They argue that ‘at present the “facts and figures” being bandied about by the health secretary have no basis in reality.’

The group need to crowdfund £25,000 to start the proceedings, with the aim of establishing a working case fund of around £250,000. They are looking for donations through Crowd Justice.

The BMA announced last month it is launching a judicial review over what is calls the ‘embarrassing’ revelation that the Government failed to carry out an equality impact assessment before imposing a new contract on junior doctors in England.

This week, it held the first in a series of three 48-hour strikes.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt last month announced that he was imposing a contract on junior doctors after talks broke down over the issue of evening and weekend pay, with the Government refusing to step back from its decision to remove ‘unsociable hours’ pay premiums from Saturdays and weekday evenings.


Readers' comments (20)

  • Sounds good and hope the NHS will still be there when the conclusion of the review comes out!

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  • Hmmm did Hunt and co know this would happen? I bet they did not expect such a big fight from medics. Those bullues are bringing themselves down by underestimating everyone and overestimating their own abilities. The sooner they go, the better. I hate the tories with a passion.

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  • Mr Mephisto

    All politicians feel that they are above the law

    A member one "Political Dynasty" obviously thinks he is - please Google "Ian Paisley fined for driving without insurance"

    I think we should all contribute a few pounds and get the crowd-funding off the ground!

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  • Vinci Ho

    Just pledged my donation to Crowd Justice.

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  • What is proposed in the contract is creating more harm than good and I hope the junior doctors get justice.

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  • medicine tastes awful

    Please donate.

    The key witness could be the GMC and CQC. These guys need to be lobbied and come out with an opinion on patient safety. These 2 organisations have a legal remit ( from the government) to ensure patient/public are fully protected/safe from unsafe practices. Patient safety- making mistakes-from tiredness, on heavy workloads,stress,poor staffing ratios. unsupported or unsupervised and working outside your competence levels etc etc.
    In this judicial review you can also be a fellow claimant-contact the legal firm.

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  • If this legal threat could delay the imposition of the contract, it is worth the money and time spent. Delay could mean failure on part of Mr Hunt and he should then leave the office with his tail between his legs.

    Spread the word on your facebook, find that rich uncle and aunt and sweet talk them to save the profession and the NHS.
    Lets hit the target.

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  • This has to be the best method of fighting most of our NHS battles, not just the imposition of the JDs contract. Similarly It is not safe for patients to be assessed for multiple co-morbitities in a 10 minute GP consultation

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  • Why aren't the BMA doing this?

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  • Good question!

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