Q1. Why has the money been given to trusts?
In September 2018, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care wrote to the British Medical Association (BMA) in which he announced he would be making £10million available to improve working conditions for junior doctors.
Q2. Who will receive the funding?
The funding will be distributed to the 210 NHS acute, community and mental health trusts in England which employ doctors in training.
Q3. How will the £10million be shared across trusts?
It has been agreed that all 210 NHS trusts (not including ambulance trusts) in England will receive £30,000, a total of £6.3 million. In addition, the remaining balance of £3.7million will be shared equally between 120 trusts defined as having a greater need (using data from a range of sources and perspectives).
Q4. How was it decided how the money was allocated?
Data has been collected from the BMA data of compliance with the Fatigue and Facilities Charter, data from the Care Quality Commission and from the Association of Deans of Local Education Training Boards.
This data has then been amalgamated to target and allocate where the additional money should be spent. The trusts that most need to improve their rest facilities receive the higher amount.
Q5. How will trusts receive the money?
Trusts will need to write to confirm they accept the terms outlined in the letter. Agreement will need to be reached between at the junior doctor forum, with senior management on how the money will be spent.
Health Education England will work with individual trusts to update the next available Learning and Development Agreement schedule – for some trusts this is monthly, others quarterly.
Q6. Will this also apply to foundation trusts?
Q7. Do trusts have to be signed up to the BMA’s Fatigue and Facilities Charter to receive the money?
We have been informed that all trusts are signed up to the BMA Fatigue and Facilities Charter, at least in principle, but this is not a requirement to receive the money. As the funding is to improve junior doctors working environments, we would recommend funding is used to meet needs aligned with the charter.
Q8. How should the money be spent?
We would recommend that the funding should be used to meet needs aligned with the BMA Fatigue and Facilities Charter, which outlines practical interventions that can be made to improve doctors’ wellbeing. Examples include sleep, mess and catering facilities or projects associated with safety and education support.
We do recognise that circumstances vary between employers, so there is some flexibility in how the money is allocated, as long as it is improving junior doctor working conditions and agreed through the junior doctor forum.
Q9. What happens if the junior doctors forum does not formally meet agreements with the trust?
If a trust does not formally agree to the arrangements with the junior doctors forum, funds will not be released to it.