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Junior doctors in Wales will have received an e-mail in the last few weeks from BMA Cymru Wales with an invitation to complete a survey. This will be the most important BMA survey for junior doctors in Wales this year.
If you’re a junior doctor reading this and haven’t received this survey invitation, please email us.
Why should I bother?
You will no doubt have seen the coverage on the junior doctor dispute in England. While there is no contract imposition in Wales, it is important that we know what your views are should we be asked to consider any changes to the junior doctor contract in Wales. While there are no imminent plans to enter negotiations in Wales, we need to be prepared for any future plans to review the contract. The survey will help us build a picture junior doctors’ experiences of working and training and will inform us of your opinions on training, pay and contract priorities.
To put it bluntly, if you don’t tell us, the Welsh Junior Doctors Committee, your views through this survey then our representation of our members will be limited. We need to position ourselves on a strong footing and can only do so by understanding the wider views of junior doctors.
As the chair of the Welsh junior doctors committee, it’s my job to represent your concerns to Welsh Government and NHS employers. I’m here and I’m ready to listen to you.
What’s the current situation?
The UK Government has already imposed a new contract on junior doctors in England. The Welsh Government has repeatedly said it won’t impose a new contract here and the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething, made it very clear in July that the Welsh Government prefers “dialogue and agreement over dispute and imposition”.
However, there will most certainly be implications for Wales from what’s happened in England and we must prepare. The Welsh Junior Doctors Committee negotiates terms and conditions on your behalf. We need to know your views so we can let the Welsh Government know what you think. They want to listen to us, so tell us your thoughts.
I finish where I started, by reiterating that this is the most important BMA survey for junior doctors in Wales this year. If you haven’t done so already, please take just a few minutes to respond to the survey by clicking on the link in the email you will have received.
If you have any questions about completing the survey, please email us.
Dr Bethan Roberts is chair of the Welsh junior doctor committee