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New junior doctor leader responds to health secretary's announcement in House of Commons on introduction of new contract

Responding to the health secretary's statement in the House of Commons today on the junior doctor contract, Dr Ellen McCourt, the BMA's junior doctors committee chair1, said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the government is pushing ahead with the introduction of a contract that has been rejected by a majority of junior doctors.

“Good progress had been made in recent months and I believe agreeing a contract in which junior doctors have confidence is still the best way forward.

“By choosing this route rather than building on progress made and addressing the outstanding issues which led to a rejection of the contract by many junior doctors, the Government is simply storing up problems for the future.

“A new contract will affect a generation of doctors and impact on the delivery of patient care. It needs to have the support of the profession and in light of today’s announcement the BMA will need to consult with members before deciding on next steps.

“The BMA has always been clear in its desire for a negotiated end to this dispute and I am committed to delivering on this.”


Notes to editor

1. Dr Ellen McCourt has been elected as the interim junior doctors committee chair until a further election in September 2016. 

2. In the referendum junior doctors were asked the following question ‘Do you accept the Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Doctors and Dentists in Training 2016?' Total number of people eligible to vote: 54,374, Total number of eligible votes cast: 36,953 (68% turnout), Yes votes: 15,494 (42%) , No votes: 21,459 (58%)

The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. We are an apolitical professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.