The Scottish Government has confirmed that a new contract will not be imposed on junior doctors in Scotland.
This assurance by the Scottish Government comes after the UK BMA junior doctors committee last week decided not to re-enter negotiations with NHS Employers for a new contract for trainees.
Following this development, the BMA Scottish JDC approached the Scottish Government to seek its position on the move by the Department of Health to impose a new contract on junior doctors in England.
In an email to Scottish trainees today, SJDC chair David Reid said: ‘I can share with you good news, and confirm that the Scottish Government have given us the assurances we were looking for and have stated that they will not be seeking to impose any new arrangements on trainees in Scotland, and that they will continue to service the current New Deal contract.
'The Scottish Government have given us the assurances we were looking for ... they will not be seeking to impose any new arrangements on trainees in Scotland'
‘BMA Scotland will work closely with the Scottish Government in the days and weeks ahead, whilst keeping a close eye on any UK developments, and we will keep junior doctors in Scotland informed as much as possible.’
Last week, JDC decided not to return to negotiations with NHS Employers on a new contract because of the Government’s ‘heavy-handed’ attempts to force through a contract without safeguards for doctors, and patient care.
The BMA has been keen to negotiate a contract that protects patient safety and doctors’ well-being, and is good for the NHS but says the current proposals are unacceptable.
To return to the negotiating table, it wants the Government to reverse:
- The proposal to extend ‘standard’ paid hours from 60 to 90 hours per week, which is extending the hours that attract non-premium pay to 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday
- Plans to remove vital safeguards — removing pay banding and replacing it with ‘work reviews’, which currently protect doctors in training from working excessively long hours
- The proposal to end pay progression, creating a situation whereby pay no longer matches experience gained through training.
The decision does not affect how the BMA is responding to proposals for consultant contracts in England and Northern Ireland — and the BMA consultants committee is weighing up the options of a negotiated settlement and its alternatives.
Read more about the negotiations