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At the heart of general practice since 1960

BMA rejects Hunt’s request to re-enter junior doctor contract negotiations

The BMA has said it wants ‘explicit reassurance’ that its proposals on working hours have a realistic chance of being included in the deal on pay and conditions before re-entering negotiations with the Government.

A letter from the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) to health secretary Jeremy Hunt says that there must be contractual safeguards against working an ‘unsafe’ number of hours, and ‘proper recognition’ that they should be paid extra for working all day on Saturdays and late evenings because of the unsocial hours.

It also wants the Government to withdraw its ‘threat to impose a new contract'.

The contract being put forward by the Government would also see the removal of the guaranteed premium for GP trainees that ensures their pay is equal to that of junior doctors, although the Department of Health has claimed it will be replaced with a similar premium.

The JDC’s letter is in reply to the correspondence from Mr Hunt calling on the BMA to re-enter negotiations, in which he gave a ‘cast-iron assurance’ that trainee pay would not decrease as a result of the contract.

In the most recent correspondence, JDC chair Dr Johann Malawana challenged Mr Hunt on his claim, warning that the proposed contract meant that some junior doctors’ pay would fall under the new contract, and that this matter should be clarified.

He wrote: ‘I have spoken to many junior doctors across the country, who are telling me that they are becoming increasingly disillusioned and I believe this may have an impact on the career choices they are making in the UK and globally.

‘Our concern is that this puts in jeopardy your manifesto commitment to deliver a seven-day NHS.’

The Department of Health said in a statement: ‘We have already given key guarantees including protecting the overall paybill, ensuring the great majority of junior doctors are at least as well paid as they would be now, and reducing the number of hours worked.

’We urge the BMA to come back to the table to determine a deal that better supports seven-day services.’

The BMA withdrew from 2016/17 contract negotiations with NHS employers last year and has said that it will ballot members over industrial action, including strikes.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Vinci Ho

    Dedicate this song to all you young comrades

    "Fight Song"

    Like a small boat
    On the ocean
    Sending big waves
    Into motion
    Like how a single word
    Can make a heart open
    I might only have one match
    But I can make an explosion

    And all those things I didn't say
    Wrecking balls inside my brain
    I will scream them loud tonight
    Can you hear my voice this time?

    This is my fight song
    Take back my life song
    Prove I'm alright song
    My power's turned on
    Starting right now I'll be strong
    I'll play my fight song
    And I don't really care if nobody else believes
    'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

    Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep
    Everybody's worried about me
    In too deep
    Say I'm in too deep (in too deep)
    And it's been two years
    I miss my home
    But there's a fire burning in my bones
    Still believe
    Yeah, I still believe

    And all those things I didn't say
    Wrecking balls inside my brain
    I will scream them loud tonight
    Can you hear my voice this time?

    This is my fight song
    Take back my life song
    Prove I'm alright song
    My power's turned on
    Starting right now I'll be strong
    I'll play my fight song
    And I don't really care if nobody else believes
    'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

    A lot of fight left in me

    Like a small boat
    On the ocean
    Sending big waves
    Into motion
    Like how a single word
    Can make a heart open
    I might only have one match
    But I can make an explosion

    This is my fight song (Hey!)
    Take back my life song (Hey!)
    Prove I'm alright song (Hey!)
    My power's turned on
    Starting right now I'll be strong (I'll be strong)
    I'll play my fight song
    And I don't really care if nobody else believes
    'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

    No I've still got a lot of fight left in me

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  • Junior doctors are left with no choice but to strike. We should all join them to let the whole country know that the NHS is being driven off a cliff.

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  • "We have already given key guarantees including protecting the overall paybill,"

    The overall paybill will be protected regardless of the number of hours worked and overall number of junior doctors= devide by 5000 by 2020. Farcical.

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  • We should link GPs ,Consultants and junior Drs contracts altogether we should act as one body,not peicemeal afterall if 'they' want 7 day working they need to negotiate with all of us,and we can all give them the 2 finger salute.TOGETHER WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL.

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  • I just wish the fragmented mess that is general practice had the ability and guts to stand up to Hunt et al.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • Not Ivan , the GPC and its members looking for medals.

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