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The waiting game

Majority of junior doctors will vote down contract offer, online poll suggests

A majority of junior doctors could vote down the contract offer agreed between BMA and the Government, an online poll has suggested.

The poll of almost 900 respondents on a closed Facebook group for junior doctors shows that 56.5% intend to vote 'no' when the vote opens later this month.

Just 19% said they had decided to vote 'yes', while 24% said they were undecided.

It comes as NHS Employers published the terms and conditions of the new contract last week, after last-ditch negotiations resulted in a proposed contract to end the protracted dispute on 18 May.

The poll, launched by GP Dr Hamed Khan on 29 May, asked: 'Now that we have (some) more details of T&Cs, what do you intend to do?'

Out of 891 respondents, 504 said they would vote no, while just 166 said they would vote yes.

Dr Khan, a GP in the emergency department of St George’s, London, and a clinical lecturer, told Pulse that he thought the risk the poll had been swayed by non-junior doctors gaining access to the Facebook group and voting was small.

But he also added that he and colleagues 'feel that there may well be "silent majority" which will swing the vote in favour of accepting the contract' when it comes to the BMA vote, and that it was also 'important to note that a huge number of people are undecided.'

He said: 'This is interesting. In my opinion nobody doubts the intentions or dedication of the BMA and the Junior Doctor Committee, who have clearly spared no effort in getting the best deal they can for doctors.'

He added: 'From what I gather, most of the concerns that junior doctors have seem to be centred around the effectiveness of the "guardian" in ensuring that doctors hours ad rota patterns are safe and reasonable, the fact that there is no pay increase between ST3 and ST8, despite the increase in responsibility and defence fees, and the whole "fidelity" concept which seems to restrict on junior doctors in terms of where they can locum and the rates they can command.'

It comes as the Junior Doctor Committee of the BMA is meeting tomorrow, while BMA roadshows are also taking place from this week and until 17 June, when the vote of members opens. The vote closes on 1 July and a result is due by 6 July, the BMA's website said.

Commenting on the Facebook poll, a BMA spokesperson said: 'The BMA is currently engaging with junior doctors to explain the details of the proposed new contract.

'Through a series of roadshows, web chats and other activities our aim is to ensure junior doctors fully understand the what a new contract would mean for them, so they can make an informed decision in the upcoming referendum.'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the 'historic’ settlement will pave the way for a seven-day NHS.

The question in full

Junior doctor contract poll: Now that we have (some) more details of T&Cs, what do you intend to do?'

Vote no: 56.5% (504)

Undecided: 19.5% (174)

Vote yes: 19% (166)

Waiting for BMA roadshows and Q&As before deciding: 5% (47)

Source: Facebook poll on the closed , as shared with Pulse


Readers' comments (22)

  • Limiting the freedom to locum and also limiting fees for this is the number one issue that I have heard when speaking to junior doctors

    The next major issue is fear of poor 'Guardians' against being overworked in their jobs

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  • Good - i admire the juniors for sticking to their guns.

    Hopefully,GPs will follow.

    regardless - it's obvious the majority of doctors are unhappy enough to leave and the 'leadership' can not stop this. we have a democratic right to retire, emigrate, locum, go private, change career, take a career break. all i can say to the Quangos,royal colleges,NHSE - enjoy running the NHS with 50% less doctors in it.

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  • Those with short term memory problems may need reminding that the austerity measures are necessary because Gordon Brown left us trillions of pounds in debt,but,hey don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant....

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  • Anonymous | Sessional/Locum GP02 Jun 2016 6:07pm

    agree - that's why doctors should work for free 24/7 to allow politicians to have pay rises, to pay Quangos to write pretty documents, to pay bbc execs 9 figure salaries, and allow the public can spend their money on sky and 50'' TVs.

    it's about fairness - it isn't fair that the NHS has been tasked to manage all of societies problems - yet society as a whole doesn't want to pay for it but expects the staff to shoulder the burden.

    either pay for the service you want or don't expect it for free.

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  • Good. No deal.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    I expect they will dutifully all vote "yes" and then moan for years. Govt laughs.

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  • 5.50pm, I am sure Hunt can spin the reduction in doctor numbers beautifully. Think of the money the country will save!!!
    How patriotic of the doctors for leaving and reducing the bill for the UK!
    The government will already be planning the noctors and other fake doctors etc... to replace the few remaining doctors left standing for the hospital positions left vacant.
    Their plans are working so well!!! Hunt deserves a knighthood....
    Only problem will arise is that soon people will need to go abroad to Europe or further if they want medical care as our docs will have wisely fled, but that is a small inconvenience as who needs doctors anyway?? Certainly not the health secretary.

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  • Dear All,
    Of course they will, who one earth would vote for this pup? Extra work for no overall extra money, and promises of "Guardians" employed by the employers and consideration of basic family rights, they are rights so why do they need considering? Considering means they can still be ignored.
    Paul C

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  • I hope with will to fight will prevail and we won't have capitulation at this advanced stage of struggle. Keep it up colleagues and show our cardigans and boot lickers in gp land what it is to stand up for your rights.

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  • The deal sounds rubbish. Worse shifts worse pay, cant locum and charge market rate.
    I would only agree to a contract as good as the current one or better. Why should they agree to less? Don't junior doctors deserve a pay rise like the MPs after all the years of pay freezes.
    More strikes I say because if they all silently emigrate then as said above the government will just fill the gaps with physicians associates and we will all be worse off when we need medical care.

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