Junior doctor England

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Update about the junior doctor contract review 2019


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Formal negotiations are currently ongoing on the 2016 terms and conditions, overseen by UK JDC. It is expected that these will conclude in late May, when we will start providing details for members on what improvements have been agreed. In June there will be a referendum for members to vote on whether they accept the new version of the contract that JDC have negotiated, so check your contact details are up to date now.

Information about the new contract will be made widely available in lots of formats, but you will need to be a member of the BMA to have a vote. Join by 7 June to guarantee your opportunity to vote and ensure you are kept updated with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

All junior doctor members in England will be able to vote, along with final and penultimate medical students. If you don’t live in England now but can confirm that you will be working there from August 2019, you can contact us and we will include you in the referendum.

If you’re not a member, join now to have your say. If you already belong to the BMA update your details online at or call 0300 123 1233.


Next steps

In 2015-16 the BMA took part in negotiations with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Employers to develop a new set of terms and conditions for doctors and dentists in training. We reached provisional agreement on a final contract, subject to member approval.

Members rejected it in a referendum, and the government took the decision to impose the contract without our agreement. The devolved nation administrations chose not to impose so the previous 2002 terms and conditions are still in use in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We remain in dispute over the contract, which is not collectively agreed: collective agreement means employers and trade unions have jointly agreed a contract so that any further changes to it must be made with both parties’ agreement. In August 2018 we commenced a joint review of the impact of the contract in practice and to amend the areas that are not working. We are now in a negotiation stage, trying to seek improvements based on what junior doctors have told us was important to them in a survey we held and via our regional engagement.

If we are able to reach agreement on a final package of changes, we will present this to our membership in referendum for approval. If members vote yes, the improvements will be formalised in a new version of the contract which will then be collectively agreed and our dispute ended.

If members vote no, the status quo will remain. The 2016 contract will stay in place, imposed by government, and we will remain in dispute over this.


Local contract presentation events

Hear about the improvements that have been negotiated and the impact these changes would have on junior doctors. 

Find out more