Junior doctor contract 'worse than feared', say GP trainees behind £100,000 legal action

The reality of the new junior doctors contract is even worse than feared, GP trainees pursuing legal action against the government have said.

GP trainee Dr Francesca Silman: among founders of Just Health campaign
GP trainee Dr Francesca Silman: among founders of Just Health campaign

GP registrars Dr Marie McVeigh and Dr Francesca Silman are founding members of the Just Health group of junior doctors, which this week announced plans to launch a judicial review against the government over its plans to impose a new junior doctor contract.

The group, which has crowdfunded over £100,000 to fund the action, claim health secretary Jeremy Hunt has no legal power to impose the contract on the majority of doctors.

The group's legal action follows a separate judicial review bid by the BMA, which is taking action over claims the government failled to properly consider its own equality impact assesment of the contract.

Junior doctor contract

Dr McVeigh said that the detail of the new contract, published last week alongside the equality report was even worse then feared.

Mr Hunt has said that once junior doctors see the details they will recognise the contract is good for them and that the imposition was the right thing for the government to do.

'I'm very sorry, Jeremy, but I don't agree with you at all,' Dr McVeigh told GPonline from a picketline at University Hospital London as the fourth strike action got underway. 'It's actually even worse than we anticipated.'

The DH equality assessment showed the contract was 'detrimental to women,' said Dr McVeigh. 'It's absolutely outragous in the 21st century that a contract has been designed that has these problems in it.'

Just Health co-founder, GP registrar Dr Francesca Silman added: 'I was absolutely shocked at how appalling this contract is. It's our worst fears imagined.

'It's very, very clear this is going to hurt female doctors more, and we know that a lot of GPs are female doctors.'

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