On the 7th of December, thousands of our colleagues – junior doctors across England - will move onto the new contract.
They include F1 (foundation year 1) doctors starting new posts and F2 doctors who are sharing rotas with F1s. They follow some obstetrics and gynaecology trainees at ST3 level and above who were the first to move in October.
We continue to oppose this contract, and we know that in such difficult times for the health service, the extra-contractual promises for trainees in England, from the Secretary of State for Health are not going to be enough to fix an ‘underfunded, under doctored and overstretched NHS.’
We continue to raise with the Secretary of State your dissatisfaction with important elements of this contract. In November, JDC traded the 2015 mandate for industrial action for talks with the government to push for a solution to issues such as the foundation cash floor. We believe that the government has missed an opportunity to give a firm commitment on these issues and show foundation doctors that they take their concerns seriously. Today, we are writing to LNC chairs and junior doctor representatives to update them with the latest information on the foundation cash floor issue.
Together, we agreed to take on the task of leading the JDC. We are working hard to find solutions to the many issues raised by JDC members, local representatives and ordinary members about the contract. We are working with senior colleagues to provide them support and guidance, alongside the guidance provided for junior doctors, and the specific foundation packs which went out last week to those members moving on to the new contract tomorrow.
Most importantly, as we all go through this transition, please make sure that you report all examples of poorly implemented contracts in your area. Please tell us where things are going wrong, where communication needs to be improved or where the vital protections of the contract, like exception reporting and the guardian of safe working hours role, are not being exercised properly. The BMA will work to fix problems both at a local level – engaging with trusts – and at a national level with NHS Employers.
We’re already supporting members who have reported problems with the introduction of the new contract, with tangible results, including:
Dealing with the imposition of a new contract months after starting a new job is tough. The BMA is here to support you through this process, and stand up for you when employers get the process wrong. Please continue to report local discrepancies and inconsistencies and we will work with you to resolve them.
Please contact us directly if you have questions or concerns – email us, contact your RJDC rep or have you say on our new Facebook page.
Peter Campbell and Jeeves Wijesuriya are co-chairs of the junior doctors committee