DO NOT implement the new junior doctors contracts, the BMA urged NHS Trusts yesterday, the day the new contracts were due to be rolled out across the country.
The first group of doctors – some trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology – were due to be moved onto the contract from yesterday. However, the BMA has written to NHS Trusts across England urging them not to proceed with the introduction of the new contract, with a number of trusts already saying that they will refuse to implement the new contract in October.
Dr Ellen McCourt, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: ‘This is a watershed moment for the NHS, as some junior doctors will be moved on to a contract which they have rejected.
‘It couldn’t come at a worse time, as a recent BMA study found that almost half of junior doctors are looking to move overseas, given their morale is at an all-time low. As the government ploughs ahead with the contract, ignoring the outstanding areas of concern raised by junior doctors, many hospital trusts may feel they have little choice but to rush to implement the new terms and conditions.
‘A great deal of preparation is required for the new contract to be put in place, but very little time has been allowed for this, due to the government’s politically imposed deadline.
‘We know that a number of trusts have decided not to start using the contract in October and the BMA has called on all trusts to hold off the introduction of the contract if any of the required arrangements are not in place.
‘Introducing a new contract requires major systemic change and will affect a generation of junior doctors. It is vital for the time to be taken to get it right, rather than rushed, for no other reason than to meet a political timeline.’