Hunt 'glossing over facts' about pay cuts say junior doctor leaders

Junior doctors' leaders have accused Jeremy Hunt of trying to 'gloss over the facts' after the health secretary appeared to admit that a minority will face pay cuts under a proposed new contract.

Mr Hunt’s comments to BBC Breakfast came just hours after he wrote to the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee to guarantee that no junior doctor would face pays cuts compared to the current contract.

A BMA ballot of junior doctors for industrial action is set to open on Thursday 5 November.

In a statement today, the BMA said Mr Hunt told BBC Breakfast that a ‘small minority’ of junior doctors working an average of more than 56 hours a week could lose money.

‘There’s a very small minority of doctors who will be working more than an average of 56 hours and at the moment they get paid what’s called colloquially in the NHS "danger money". We think that’s wrong,’ Mr Hunt said.

Junior doctor pay

According to the website Politics Home, he added: ‘But what we are saying is that for the vast majority of doctors who are working within the legal limit there will be no pay cut. We’ll make sure that happens.’

The comments appear markedly at odds with Mr Hunt's letter to BMA junior doctor committee chairman Dr Johann Malawana. The letter said: 'Today in the House of Commons I am giving a firm guarantee on behalf of the government that no junior doctor will see their pay cut compared to their current contract.'

Jeremy Hunt claims

Dr Malawana said: ‘Just hours after promising that no junior doctor would have a pay cut, Jeremy Hunt has now admitted that those working the longest hours would in fact see their pay fall.

‘Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly shifted his position and this is another example of the health secretary claiming one thing, but the reality being quite different.

‘It makes it impossible for junior doctors to trust the government when they have been caught out trying to gloss over the facts.’

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