Hospital Dr News

NHS junior doctors vote in favour of improvements to their contract

Juniors have voted in favour in the referendum to support improvements to the 2016 contract.

Eighty-two per cent of the BMA doctors who voted – or 9,449 – showed their support of contract changes.

These changes will see several benefits, including overall increases in pay and for working weekends and late shifts.

The contract will see an investment of £90 million over the next four years plus an average 2% pay uplift each year for four years.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “We are glad that doctors have chosen to support the deal which, as well as a pay uplift, focuses on improving safe working and training.

“This agreement comes as a result of incredibly hard work on all sides to review and improve the contract, and to build a safe and constructive way forward for this crucial part of our workforce.”

The chair of the BMA junior doctors committee Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya said a new collaborative and constructive negotiation process with the government had delivered significant improvements.

The new contract was imposed on trainees in 2017 by then health minister Jeremy Hunt following a breakdown in negotiations and industrial action.

Dr Wijesuriya said: “There is of course a great deal more that needs to be done to improve the wellbeing and working lives of junior doctors, and the junior doctors committee will remain at the forefront of campaigns for a better funded, well-staffed and publicly run health service.”

The deal, which is only applicable in England, includes:

  • Increases to weekend and night shift (shifts ending after midnight and by 4am) pay
  • £1,000 a year extra for all less than full time trainees
  • A fifth nodal point on the payscale at the level of ST6
  • ‘Section 2’ transitional pay protection extended until 2025
  • Improved GP trainee mileage and confirmed supernumerary status
  • Improvements in rest and safety entitlements, with no more pay-to-stay when too tired to drive
  • Contractualised NROC/LTFT rostering guidance
  • Exception reporting for all ARCP/portfolio requirements
  • Guaranteed annual pay uplift of 2% each year for the next four years.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “I am delighted that we have successfully brought to an end the junior doctors dispute with this landmark agreement. Junior doctors overwhelmingly backed our multi-year deal which recognises their dedication to patients and our nation’s health.”

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