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GP trainees set for new contract that will be binding on training practices

GP trainees are set for a new contract which will will ensure their terms and conditions are binding on employers and will bring them into line with their hospital counterparts.

Tthe BMA and NHS Employers agreed have agreed to start negotiations, which will mean that GP trainees will have a set UK-wide contract, as opposed to the ‘framework’ agreement, which is currently agreed between the GPC and the Committee of General Practice Education Directors and is not binding for employers.

The Department of Health must still give the go-ahead for the negotiations, but once it does, the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee will lead on the employee’s side. The GPC will be involved in the negotiations, both on behalf of training practices and trainees. Negotiations are likely to start in the Autumn,

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the GPC GP trainees subcommittee, welcomed the move. He said: ‘Until now, there has been one contract for GP trainees and one contract for hospital doctors. 

‘We now hope to have shared terms and conditions between these two contracts while maintaining that the two settings will need slightly different work arrangements.

‘The current contracts, especially the hospital trainees’ contract, are out of date – they are more than ten years old. The GP trainees’ contract is being updated all the time and is more recent. The contracts have served a purpose but it is now time to bring them in line and make sure they can meet the training needs of tomorrow.’

Dr Ben Molyneux, chair of the JDC, said the committee had conducted a survey of doctors in training and found that there was not the right balance between training and service provision.

In his blog, he wrote: ‘There has to be the right balance of training and service, and something in the contract that mandates employers to put it right. This is where the work schedule we have proposed, which will set out the structure of each trainee’s week, will be so important.’

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: ‘Employers in the NHS believe that the current contract is no longer fit for purpose. A new contract will support them to provide high quality patient care and effective medical training within a safe working environment. NHS Employers is awaiting the decision of the four UK governments on a mandate to proceed to negotiations in the autumn.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • GP trainee in distant past have been used as additional pair of hands by some(tiny number)of practices and left to fend for themselves. it will be useful to look at manpower of practices to make sure that they have enough work force and are not relying on gp registrar.
    and have ample time for teaching.

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  • I agree GP registrars should not be exploited.

    But, on the other hand they do command a significant wage. If they hope continue to take home such amount, they cannot escape from reasonable workload, but with supervision. After all, that is what the hospital juniors do and they don't complain the hospital isn't staffed with enough consultants not to count them as work force.

    Or they can opt out from work load and perhaps should pay to be trained, just like in university?

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  • @9:51. Gp registrars just want to be treated fairly and not exploited/treated as another pair of hands. If they work excessive hours then pay them please for the hours they work rather than saying it's all 'part of training'

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  • At my practice, we ensure registrars are treated fairly and they never work in excess.

    But you'll have to understand the opposite end of the scale. I've seen registrars whose mantra is "I'm not supposed to be an extra pair of hand" and continue to do minimum amount required - barely participating QoF, coming late to practice meeting, not taking part in duty doctor, doesn't know any of his patients etc. All of which, I did as a registrar myself. In fact I even led in one of the DES, point I used in my job interview successfully.

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  • 10:58 the registrar is not fit to pass that does that. They are not ready to be a GP. It is a really tough world out here and there is no room for people scraping the barrel. Our negotiating stance is that GP's provide quality and accessible services to improve health outcomes and that we are worth the initial higher investment. If we have doctor's that don't work like the rest of us then it weakens our position.

    GP registrars should not have it easy during training. They should not be doing more than the partners, but they should certainly not be Molly coddled.

    This does not help Gp their patients and more importantly the trainee themselves.

    -anonymous salaried!

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  • Gp registrar seems to come out of training equipped to deal with clinical problems but have no idea of practice management. some have no idea about how money is earned and are not in strong position to negotiate partnership agreement.when they leave . this is one area that tutors need to concentrate as well.

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  • Agree with 10.58. Our last registrar didn't bother to get up off her bottom to help when we had a collapse in the treatment room, and sadly that reflects on current attitudes of many. Clock in clock out, not here to be any thing other than 'trained'. Sadly the balance has swung too far from the 'apprentice model' to the 'train me ' model, it's threatening to produce doctors who are not fit for the rigours of general practice.
    Where is the button that says 'robust' and where is the tick on the e.portfolio to describe someone who would rather fill in that than get their sleeves rolled up.
    Also in small practices the registrar will probably have to see everything that comes in, to see enough. We have to give over our patients to them. So the contract does need o be changed. We need to be employers rather than hosts, and with that we should be able to pick out own registrars rather than having them dumped on us, and the registrars to be fair should be able to pick us.

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  • @10:23. Finally some common sense - letting registrars CHOOSE who they wish to work with. As everyone here is so concerned about registrars not working enough being robust etc how about something on the portfolio that monitors hours worked. It's not there is it? - I wonder why????? maybe because of the outcry that would follow due to hours worked being too excessive - just a thought.....

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  • This dialogue just demonstrates how divided seniors and juniors are which unfortunately is across disciplines in medicine. We have certainly been divided and conquered too busy arguing between ourselves to wake up to the fact that standing up to contract changes would have been in our control if we had been cohesive. But hey it's important we all get what we're entitled too right? It's "only me" that works hard mentality/"our generation" is doing great things.

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