JUNIOR doctors and their union have responded angrily after 1,500 third year trainees were told they have to re-apply for their jobs as registrars which had only just been confirmed.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair and Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, BMA junior doctors committee chair, said in a joint statement Saturday: ‘On Friday afternoon, we were appalled to discover that ST3 job offers for nationally recruited medical specialities were being rescinded, due to a “human error” in the administrative process. ‘This has caused extreme anxiety for trainees who have been offered, and made life choices based upon, what were ostensibly guaranteed jobs.
‘The chair of our junior doctors committee last night expressed how completely unacceptable the withdrawal of these offers is and made immediate contact with the senior team of the RCP, including their trainee chair, to establish the scale of the issue, and make clear the ramifications for the junior doctors affected. ‘This morning, we, the chairs of the BMA council and junior doctors committee spoke at length with Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), to articulate the strength of feeling and extent of the impact that this has had on trainees.
‘We have heard from trainees who have, after receiving these job offers, put down deposits on homes, arranged moves or whose families had adjusted their plans. ‘We have conveyed our expectation that college will support and compensate these trainees for any inconvenience. We will be taking legal advice on whether this withdrawal constitutes a breach of contract in England or any of the Devolved Nations and seeking recompense for any funds already spent by trainees planning a relocation to a job which is subsequently withdrawn.
Typical of junior doctors’ reactions was that of George Hills from Coventry. He said: ‘I was offered my first choice training job in infectious diseases and microbiology, and as a result have taken out a loan to carry out work on my house, knowing I would not have to move home and having job security for five years.
‘As well as this, I have turned down job offers for other positions. I am now in a much worse position than I was a month ago. ‘I have also had to arrange childcare for my eight-month-old daughter in a suitable location. My wife is going back to work after maternity leave in August as well and is yet to know what hours she will be working. ‘Needless to say stress levels in our household are very high.’