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#GPnews: Government to pause junior doctor contract imposition

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15:30  It’s all about the junior doctor contract today – here is health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s letter to the Academy of Royal Colleges.

Mr Hunt thanks the chair of the College, Professor Dame Sue Bailey, for her offer today to ‘broker a resoltuion’ to the ongoing dispute between the Goverment and the BMA over the new junior doctor contract. 

He goes on to add that the Government will ‘pause’ the introduction of the new junior doctor contract from Monday for five days, on the condition that the BMA’s junior doctor committee returns to the negotiation table. 

The BMA’s junior doctor chair Dr Johann Malawana said he is ‘keen’ to restart talks, but insists the outstanding issues concerning the new contract is ‘more than just about pay’. 

Dr Johann Malawana added: ‘Junior doctors have said since the outset that we want to reach a negotiated agreement, and have repeatedly urged the government to re-enter talks.’

‘As suggested by the Academy, we are keen to restart talks with an open mind. It is critical to find a way forward on all the outstanding issues – which are more than just pay – and hope that a new offer is made that can break the impasse.’

Here is a video of Dr Malawana speaking earlier today on the BBC’s Victoria Live show

12:05  The Government has agreed to temporarily pause the imposition of the junior doctors’ new contract for five days from Monday. 

Speaking in the House of Lords, health minister Lord Prior said the Government would be willing to halt the introduction of the new junior doctor contract so that it can engage in discussion with the BMA. 

It comes as the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges today called for the pause in the process of imposing the new contract – alongside a five-day suspension of the threat of further strikes, in a bid to enable talks to resume with the Government.

9:55 A quite incredible letter is doing the rounds on twitter. A patient, who apparently suffers from uncontrolled seizures, has had her neurology appointment moved from August to April 2017:

9:30 Our top story this morning is aKing’s Fund report that reveals 90% of current GP trainees will not be doing full time clinical work in five years’ time.

It also has strong words for the DH and NHS England over the lack of data that could have highlighted the GP crisis earlier.

The report said: ‘The Department of Health and NHS England have failed over a number of years to collect data that would have provided advance warning of the crisis now facing general practice. Action is urgently needed to reverse reductions in funding as a share of the NHS budget and to recruit and retain the workforce needed to meet rising patient demands.’

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