Junior Doctors Committee

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Dr Latifa Patel: Making an impact as a junior doctor in the workplace

Latifa PatelWhile a little hesitant due to my inexperience, I stood to be the junior doctor rep at the local negotiating committee (LNC) as an F1.

The LNC welcomed me as they hadn't seen a JD rep in a long time; too long. My inexperience was not an issue. I had a consultants' rep and a staff grade and associates' rep as well as my BMA industrial relations officer to support and guide me. 

Most importantly however, I had my peers and my own experiences; we are the junior doctors after all.

The LNC discusses and makes decisions affecting all grades of doctors within the trust, from sickness leave to departmental changes, from parking charges to industrial action. Without a JD rep, the decisions concerning us are made without a fair negotiation.

It was through the contacts I made with the LNC that I renegotiated the parking charges for all F1s and F2s, had a new toaster, a new water boiler, the dishwasher fixed, new cupboards put in the mess, the carpets washed and cleaned – oh and negotiated amendments to the academic and non-academic F1 contracts to bring them up to date with current national terms and conditions of service as well as organising several monitoring periods!

My LNC meets four times a year for a three-hour meeting, with some email correspondence in between, though most of this was initiated by me to resolve the above issues.

It is quite easy to manage and requires minimal commitment outside the meetings, unless there are pressing issues – the industrial relations officer is always on hand to help though.

So you see, as a local JD rep on the LNC at one trust or hospital, you can make a difference. Get involved!