18 / 9 / 2013 Midnight
Dean Royles says this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help reshape the way the NHS delivers care.
Responding to the British Medical Association’s decision to negotiate the contract of consultant doctors, Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:
“The NHS and its patients urgently need the consultants contract to be modernised, so we are extremely pleased that the BMA wants to negotiate changes. This is a once-in-a generation opportunity to help reshape the way the NHS delivers care.
“These negotiations won't be easy. The BMA is a powerful trade union but they will help set the scene for doctors to take a leading role in transforming working patterns in the NHS, to ensure quality care and as a stepping stone towards future advances in seven-day NHS services.
“There is an increasing consensus from the medical establishment that we need more of our most senior doctors on duty and in hospitals later into the working day and at weekends.
“We are hopeful that we can work in partnership to negotiate changes which will be better for doctors, employers and crucially our patients.
“This year NHS Employers reached agreement on changes to the terms and conditions of nurses and other healthcare staff. If we can also now revise the doctors contract it really will exemplify how mature partnerships are as strong as ever in the NHS.”
A formal negotiation would apply to the contract for consultants working in England and Northern Ireland.
Notes to Editors
This follows the publication of draft heads of terms by NHS Employers and the British Medical Association (BMA) on 31 July 2013. These set out a framework for possible formal renegotiation of the contract for consultants working in England and Northern Ireland.