NHS Employers and the BMA publish draft heads of terms for possible renegotiation of junior doctors contract

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31 / 7 / 2013 Midnight

NHS Employers and the British Medical Association and have today published draft heads of terms to achieve a new contract for doctors and dentists in training.

Both sides will now consider the draft heads of terms during the summer before deciding whether to proceed to a formal renegotiation of the contract. This would require a mandate from the Junior Doctors Committee and the Health Departments. 

This follows exploratory talks between the BMA and NHS Employers, including representatives from the devolved nations, after concerns that the 13-year-old contract is no longer working as well as it could for NHS employers, doctors and dentists in training and patients. 

At the end of 2012, the NHS Employers organisation proposed working towards a new contract which ensures those in training feel valued and engaged, which promotes care for patients and safety for trainees, that is affordable and adaptable to changes in the training and working practices of trainees and that minimises conflict so as to facilitate good relations between trainees and their employers. 

The BMA has also raised a number of areas for exploration including working hours, quality of life, the fairness and stability of pay and training. 

Commenting, Dr Ben Molyneux, Chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee said: 

“Since the current contract was drawn up we have seen radical changes to the way doctors in training work. We believe there is scope for producing a contract that works better for both junior doctors and their employers.” 

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: 

“This is an important step towards modernising the junior doctors’ contract. We are hopeful that we can negotiate a new contract which will be better for doctors, employers and crucially our patients. These discussions in partnership with the BMA have been extremely useful and we very much hope to achieve a mandate for formal negotiations.” 

Notes to editors

For dentists this includes those employed on hospital terms and conditions in dental core and higher training posts or as dental public health trainees when employed in hospital terms and conditions. 

For more information and to access the draft heads of terms please visit www.bma.org.uk/juniorcontract 

The British Medical Association (BMA) is an independent trade union and voluntary professional association which represents doctors from all branches of medicine across the UK. It has a total membership of over 150,000. 

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