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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.

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