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#GPnews: Patients Association 'appalled' at Jeremy Hunt

17:20 And finally for today’s jam-packed day, here’s a video of Jeremy Hunt ignoring questions from junior doctors.

17:15 A bit of a blow for Jeremy Hunt, who has touted himself as the patients’ champion.

In a statement titled ’Patients Association appalled at imposed junior doctor contract’, the patients’ group calls for an independent review of the acrimonious dispute over junior doctors’ contracts and say they are ‘appalled’ at Hunt’s decision to impose a contract unilaterally.

The action group call for a ‘sober and comprehensive’ review of NHS staffing in addition to a review of the contract to find a ‘viable way forward that will improve services to patients while being fair to all doctors.’

Chief executive Katherine Murphy said the juniors dispute was occurring against a large and worsening shortage of GPs and nurses, missed NHS targets and cuts to social care.

She said: ‘The Government’s decision to impose contract terms on junior doctors is unacceptable… The Patients Association calls for an independent review to propose a viable way forward that will improve services to patients while being fair to doctors.’

She added: ‘Services are failing large numbers of the public and through our helpline we hear daily about the impact on individual patients and carers.’

Read all the reaction to the imposition here.

17:00 A bit of mischief making from Scottish health minister Shona Robison. The Scottish Government issued a press release reassuring junior doctors north of the border that they won’t be imposing a contract, with a love letter telling them ‘we value our junior doctors’.

At the bottom of the press release, in the notes to editors, they casually slip in their recruitment campaign for GP trainees and junior doctors. Well played!

Read the full story here.

16:05 This is interesting. The Royal College of Nurses are warning that they expect the pay of other professionals to decrease due to the junior doctor contract imposition.

Josie Irwin, Head of Employment Relations for the RCN said: ’The imposition of the junior doctor contract sets a worrying precedent. It reflects poorly on the Government’s attitude towards industrial relations and staff morale in the NHS.

‘Our members are increasingly anxious that there will now be moves to take their unsocial hours payments away as well, and concerned that this will have a detrimental impact on patient care.’

15:50 Support from junior doctors from an unlikely source. And in an unlikely manner…

Want more? Go on then - while we’re at it…

15:40 According to this Daily Mirror reporter, Jeremy Hunt is 50/50 to be in his job by the turn of the year…

13:15 And here are all the reactions, all on one handy page.

13:00 Reactions to the imposition are pouring in now. The BMA has said it is ’considering all options’, while Unite said Hunt has taken the ‘nuclear option’.

We’ll be putting up all the reactions shortly.

12:20 The chair of the RCGP, Dr Maureen Baker, has some strong words for the health secretary. She said the college is ‘shocked and dismayed’, adding: Imposing a deal on junior doctors is wrong-headed, will inevitably damage morale across the NHS – and may damage patient care.

’The last few months have been incredibly tough for junior doctors, and have led to the lowest morale across our profession in a generation. Imposing a contract, in its current form, is asking junior doctors – the future of our NHS – to work under conditions in which they neither feel valued nor able to deliver safe patient care.

’The imposition of the contract will undoubtedly impair our efforts to recruit thousands of additional doctors into the NHS over the coming years in order to keep the health service sustainable – as many medical students are seeing this turmoil, not liking what they see, and turning away from medicine in the UK altogether.’

12:00 As expected, Mr Hunt has imposed a contract on junior doctors. He has highlighted an increase in basic pay of 13.5%, up from the original 11% offer, and reductions in ’safe hours’ working.

But, no doubt, we’ll find the devil in the detail once they are published.

Speaking in the House of Commons, shadow health secretary referred to this tweet from Andrew Foster, chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust:


11:30 We’re still waiting on the statement from Mr Hunt. In the meantime, have a read on how we ended up at this pointover the past few days.

10:30 Jeremy Hunt is to make a statement in the House of Commons at 11:15am, in which he will almost certainly announced the imposition of the junior doctors contract.

Labour have warned that this will lead to months of industrial action.

At the same time, there are reports that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has called for the contract to be imposed:

9:30 With the dust settling on a second day of industrial action, the papers reveal that it could be crunch time for junior doctors’ contract negotiations - as we report here.

The BBC reports that the BMA rejected a ‘final offer’ from NHS England’s chief negotiator Sir David Dalton on Tuesday . The offer, which can be read here, made concessions on unsociable hours, designation ‘plain-time’ as 0700-2100 (rather than 2200) on weekdays, and 0700 to 1700 on Saturdays.

It adds that the NHS offered a ‘significant’ concession to ‘pay premium rates to all junior doctors who worked 1 in 4 weekends or more for all Saturdays they worked.’

And now, despite Jeremy Hunt telling the media he hoped negotiations would succeed to avoid a contract imposition, The Guardian reports the secretary of state is due to speak in the Commons today and is expected to announce just that.

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing

Readers' comments (10)

  • If doctors do not stand firm now then they will have no respect from the government, the patients or their collegues or for themselves.
    There should be a government petition for getting Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron to be interviewed by a pannel of Junior doctors and others from all parts of the medical profession. This should be filmed and televised. It should be an hour long debate, and include NO trees for JH to hide behind. There should be NO set questions.
    There should be afterwards another debate about the knock on effects this will have on the NHS with the general public as really if these issues are not discussed in the open now, it will be too late.

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  • There wasn't always an NHS. The government as a monopoly employer hiding behind the fig leaf of a democratic mandate can effectively do as it pleases. The sort and the long of it is these folk don't beleave in the NHS as it stands, they want to get rid of it, they can't actually say so because the vast majority of the population like the NHS very much, and want to keep it. The Conservative party doesn't. They're getting rid of it but lying about what they are doing. We won't have a national health service in the way we see it today in 10 years. Quality care will be purchased by those who can afford it, everyone else will scrape by with a bare minimum 'safety net'. This will suit the wealthy and 'haves' just fine. The 'have nots' will suffer and worry, like they do in the USA. The problem we all have is that there is a clear trend in society that has been difficult to prevent...over the last 30 years or more there are fewer and fewer 'haves' and more and more 'have nots' . Those with wealth get wealthier every week whilst the rest of us see our incomes stagnate or fall. The world we are moving towards will need universe quality health care more then ever but it seems the dwindling ranks of the wealthy don't think we can afford it, they'd rather spend the money they'll save in tax on themselves and their children. With effectively no opposition to the Conservative party in England since Soctland turned inwards and decided to vote for the SNP there's very little chance of anyone other than the conservatives running things for the forseable future. The Cinservative party don't believe in the NHS - but they lie and say they do. Dishonest and very depressing. As long as we live in a country without an opposition the NHS is screwed.

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  • can a public health service exist without doctors?

    this is the great test.

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  • Awfully good of Mr Hunt to act swiftly to improve the outcomes of the population.....s in Australia and New Zealand.

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  • What does the new contract actually mean for GPVTS trainees? Will they get rid of the 45% banding supplement which will see trainees pay cut by aprox £13,000??? This will devastate recruitment.

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  • Govt should listen junior doctors

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  • Anonymous | Sessional/Locum GP11 Feb 2016 11:06am

    Dude, keep the posts short and sweet if you expect anyone to read them.

    Alternatively, use paragraphs.

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  • Jeremy Hunt like all the previous health ministers has no clue as to how by increasing Junior doctors hours he is going to reduce the mortality over the week end.
    Most junior doctors work over weekends.
    It is not by increasing the Saturday hours and interfering with their pay that he will reduce the mortality
    Weekend services like pathology, radiology, physiotherapy all need to be provided to the same extent as during the week days and most importantly they need the consultant cover.
    Most of the junior doctors that I have spoken to and my experience of admitting patients over the week end or Friday afternoon is that there is no consultants available or juniors are unable to get hold of one.
    Investigations are also not possible as ancillary services are not fully operating.
    He should address this issue first, or look for alternative job himself.

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    RCN should use the above document and release same to popular press to show people how bad the present government is by suppressing safety measures.
    JH`s office allegedly put pressure on NICE to stop publication of this document!!!

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  • Patients Association playing both sides. They might be appalled today but if you saw Dr Mike Smith of the PA on C4 news last night he was doing a passable impression of Sir Hufton-Tufton of Tunbridge Wells harrumphing away about how dreadful the notion of doctors striking was. Then we got the guff about how rough it was when he were a lad when Matronused to come and drag him the Mess Snooker table to give a soluble aspirin to some poor soul with Triple Vessel disease.

    Truth is, I blame the public for the hold we are in. They elected these loons. They bitch and whine about how awful we are, sue at the drop of a hat, and write to the DM to say we should our lazy overpaid behinds off the picket lines and get back to cap-doffing servitude. The public will only appreciate us when we aren't there anymore. Stuff it, make it happen.

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