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GPs go forth

Hunt gives BMA ‘cast-iron assurance’ trainee pay will not decrease

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has written a letter to BMA guaranteeing his junior doctor contract proposals will not decrease pay, including that of GP trainees.

According to the Department of Health, the letter was a plea to the BMA Junior Doctors Committee to return to the negotiations, despite Mr Hunt’s earlier threat to impose terms.

It comes after the BMA escalated the contract row two weeks ago by deciding it would ballot junior doctors on industrial action, after the union said that the Government had ’chosen to ride roughshod over the concerns of doctors with their threat of imposition’.

The DH said it had, via the letter, given ‘four cast-iron assurances’: that it was not cost-cutting exercise; it will improve patient safety; it will not impose longer hours for junior doctors; and that the DH ’will ensure that the great majority of junior doctors are at least as well paid as they would be now’.

On GP trainee pay, Mr Hunt repeated the promise he gave to RCGP last month that the GP training supplement would be replaced by another ‘pay premium’ so that GP trainees are not disadvantaged.

He wrote: ’I have already given my assurances that GP trainees will not be disadvantaged compared with the current system.

’I can also say that it is our intention that flexible pay premia would be used to support recruitment into shortage specialties such as accident and emergency medicine and general practice.

’We would also include pay protection for doctors who change to shortage specialities and to support agreed academic work.’

The letter, addressed to JDC chair Dr Johann Malawana, concluded: ’The best deal for junior doctors will be achieved by the BMA coming to the table to negotiate on their behalf and I urge you now to do this.’

It comes after Mr Hunt met Dr Malawana to discuss the contract proposals this week. 

Read the letter in full here



Readers' comments (43)

  • A definition of 'politics':

    "...activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organisation."

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  • I do not believe a single word he says
    Not one

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  • "I can give you a categorical
    assurance that I am not seeking to save any money from the junior doctors’
    paybill" = the bill for the treasury/DH will be the same, but your working conditions will change. You will work 'social hours' on Saturday night for weekday daytime pay and you won't have annual increments, you will start at the bottom again if you do research/have maternity breaks etc etc.
    Hunt is expert in double speak and obfuscation. He despises the medical profession, don't trust him.

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  • Mr Hunt cannot get it through his massively thick skull that doctors will always be superior to him in every way. He has no clue what it takes to become a GP/specialist which makes his resentment even bigger. He has it in for us, plane and simple. We need to stand our ground and fight with all we've got otherwise we will all be demoted to poorly paid "mindless" pen pushers.

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  • Empty words from an empty man

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  • total b/s lies from tory government.
    X x Y=Z
    X = number of trainees
    Y = pay
    Z = total bill

    if you want to increase X (number of trainees) but don't want to raise Z (total wage bill) then you decrease Y (individual pay). pure algebra.

    politically speaking (i.e. distorting the truth for personal gains) 'Trainees pay will not reduce' could be Y (individual) or Z (collectively). We all know of course that they can't magically make another 5000 or so trainees, but politically speaking 'imaginary' and 'real' are the same thing... hence they can claim to have kept pay the same whilst still reducing individual pay.

    X(+5000) x Y(Z/X+5000) = Z

    if I did my algebra right :P

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  • It will be a mistake to trust him.
    This is a fox.

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  • The same shite as there will be no top down reorginisation of the NHS

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  • They won't decrease junior doctors pay. They will just freeze it at todays level and inflation will do their pay cutting job for them!

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  • Why do we accept mps need pay raises but junior doctors need pay decreases.
    Clearly some are more equal than others.
    When did doctors become the fall guys?
    We are going back to the days 30 uears ago when I was a junior and used to get paid a third of my normal hour pay for enforced overtime hours. I think the NHS managers would love to bring that time back again.

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