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NHS Employers publishes terms of junior doctor contract

NHS Employers has published the terms and conditions of the new junior doctor contract, after the Government and BMA reached agreement earlier this month.

The 81-page document outlines the detail of the deal that will be put to a vote of BMA junior doctor members to approve or reject between 17 June and 1 July.

Following conclusion of the lengthy trade dispute, the document confirms that trainees who work more than one every weekend in eight will receive enhanced payments, while any shifts beginning at 8pm or later will receive 37% enhanced payment for every hour worked.

It also reduces the maximum hours a trainee can be asked to work from 91 to 72 hours in a week.

GP trainees will retain previously agreed flexible pay-premia of £8,200 a year, but training practices will need to appoint a newly introduced independent ‘guardian of safe working hours’ who will levy fines in the event that working hour limits are breached.

The new role was negotiated to ensure trainees are not made to work unsafe hours under the new arrangement on ‘sociable hours’, but where a GP trainee is employed directly by a practice rather than by their trust, the practice must appoint its own guardian.

The terms and conditions specify that where a practice employs fewer than ten trainees they can appoint a joint guardian with other practices or contract one from a neighbouring hospital trust.

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

The Department of Health has also published an equality analysis of the new contract today, which defended the amendments against concerns that female doctors may be disadvantaged.

It said that ‘while there are features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women, of which some we expect to be advantageous and others disadvantageous, we do not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified’.

What happens next?

  • 31 May – Publication of new contract and supporting materials
  • 3 June – Junior doctor committee meeting
  • 1-17 June – Roadshows to explain the new contract
  • 17 June-1 July – Member referendum on the offer
  • 6th July – Referendum resolution

Source: BMA