Talks to begin on juniors contract
18 February 2013
The BMA is to begin initial talks over the future of the UK junior doctors contract.
The BMA junior doctors committee agreed at the weekend to start discussions with NHSE (NHS Employers) about the government’s proposal to renegotiate the trainee contract.
At an extraordinary meeting of the JDC on Saturday, juniors leaders decided to try to find broad ‘heads of terms’ with NHSE to use as a framework for any future negotiations.
JDC chair Ben Molyneux said: ‘The current contract is 12 years old, and much has changed since it was introduced.
‘We plan to use these talks to say that a new contract should prioritise education and training, better recognise the professionalism and contribution of junior doctors to the NHS, and improve junior doctors’ working lives.’
‘A new contract could have a major impact on our pay, training and working conditions.’
Dr Molyneux added that all junior doctors would have an opportunity to contribute ideas and views on a future contract.
He said: ‘We are also planning a major programme of engagement to encourage as many junior doctors as possible to help shape the priorities. If we move to contract negotiations it will be [junior doctors] that decide whether to accept or reject any new contract offer. So make sure you understand what is at stake.’
In December, a scoping report by NHSE described the current contract as ‘not fit for purpose’ and recommended its renegotiation. The government accepted this recommendation.
For updates on the junior doctor contract talks, see bma.org.uk/juniorconsultantcontracts