Over the last two years, the BMA has worked with NHS Employers, HEE (Health Education England) and other organisations to resolve a number of issues raised by members. We have secured improvements in a number of key areas:
During the negotiations for the 2016 junior doctor contract, a set of new working hour limits and rest requirements were introduced at the request of the BMA. In partnership with NHS Employers, we have jointly developed guidance on good rostering practices. We have also updated our useful rota checker tool.
Enhancing junior doctors' working lives
During the junior doctor contract dispute the BMA identified a substantial number of issues that sat outside the contract itself, such as a lack of flexibility in training, late notification of rotas and problems with study budgets. These issues were taken forward through the Enhancing Junior Doctors' Working Lives group, chaired by HEE with the BMA and NHS Employers, with input from the Royal College and General Medical Council.
The culmination of 18 months research across secondary care, our report into medical rota gaps offers practical solutions. We are now lobbying stakeholders who can implement our recommendations.
Along with NHS Improvement, NHS Employers, GMC, CQC and others, we have joined a working group that is assessing how the exception reporting mechanism can be improved. We are also working with the two main NHS exception reporting software companies to amend their systems and ensure junior doctor input into the future development of ER and related software packages.
Less than full time trainees
We have collated guidance on pay, rostering and working patterns in a hub for less than full time trainees. In addition, we secured key improvements to NHS Employers’ guidance on champions of flexible working.
Gender pay gap
We have a unique and integral role on the gender pay gap review launched in May 2018, following lobbying by the BMA on this issue.
Aware that trusts were misinterpreting a clause on locum activity, we challenged and obtained clarification on the intention of the clause, with NHSE updating their FAQs accordingly.
We have also lobbied for explicit updates on LTFT trainees undertaking locum work in both the Gold Guide and GMC guidance.
Transitional pay protection
Following lobbying from the BMA, at the end of March 2018, a new version of the TCS was published with revisions to Schedule 14. This incorporated amendments to extend transitional pay protection to junior doctors moving to England from a training post in the devolved nations or a Defense Medical training programme.
Asked by the Secretary of State to explore increasing flexibility for junior doctors, in March 2017 the GMC published their report, featuring a number of recommendations aimed at identifying and removing barriers to flexibility in postgraduate training.
Fatigue and safety
Our Fatigue and facilities charter outlines simple steps that can be taken to improve facilities and reduce fatigue, so doctors can safely, effectively and efficiently care for your patients. So far, it has been formally adopted by 83% of trusts across England and Wales.
Working with NHS England and COGPED, we have agreed scheduling guidance for juniors undertaking training rotations in GP settings, as well as guidance for GP practices employing GP trainees under the 2016 contract.
We have worked closely with UCEA (University Council for Educational Administration) to ensure pay parity between the academic sector and the NHS, to commit to transitional pay protection and to match flexible pay premia.
These are just some of the gains we have made for junior doctor members while still in dispute and without a formal remit for negotiations, which also include; securing improvements to the cash floor protection for unbanded foundation trainees, agreeing a number of joint FAQs with NHS Employers to clarify areas of ambiguity and ensuring correct maternity pay for trainees who transition onto the new contract during, or after, the qualifying period or while on maternity leave.
Read more about the work we have been doing