RCGP urges DH to hire independent negotiators to break junior contract deadlock

The RCGP has called on the government to 'drop pre-conditions' and call in independent negotiators to restart talks on the junior doctors' contract.

Dr Maureen Baker: ongoing junior doctor contract row puts NHS at risk
Dr Maureen Baker: ongoing junior doctor contract row puts NHS at risk

College chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker met health secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday to discuss the dispute.

The BMA began balloting junior doctors over strike action last week after the government threatened to impose contract changes.

The junior doctors’ committee rejected a last minute offer by the government to increase basic pay by 11%.

Junior doctor contract

The proposals would increase juniors’ standard hours before overtime, remove automatic pay progression and limit working hours.

Mr Hunt has pledged that GP trainees will not lose out under the reforms, despite plans to scrap the existing GP training supplement.

Dr Baker said: ‘It was a useful meeting in which I had the opportunity to reiterate to Mr Hunt that the RCGP supports our junior doctors wholeheartedly – and how crucial it is to reach a speedy resolution.

‘I urged the health secretary to call in the independent negotiators and abandon any pre-conditions to the contract so that talks can re-start, in the best interests of our doctors and our patients.

GP recruitment

‘We also discussed GP recruitment and the government’s acknowledgment that general practice is now a shortage specialty.

'We have received no threats whatsoever over the future of our royal charter and the issue did not come up.

‘The college has no influencing power over the negotiations, which are the remit of the BMA.

 ‘But, as the UK’s largest medical royal college representing over 50,000 family doctors, we are extremely concerned that the ongoing disagreement between the government and junior doctors threatens to destabilise the NHS and poses a risk to safe patient care.

‘It has badly hit morale across the NHS at a time when we should all be working together to prevent our health service from tipping over the edge, particularly as we head towards what will be a very difficult winter for our general practices and hospitals.

‘Junior doctors choose medical training because they want to care for patients and contribute to the NHS. They should be allowed to do this without fear for their own financial futures and the safety of generations of patients who will be reliant on them.’ 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Tributes as GP and 'staunch defender of the NHS' Dr Kailash Chand dies

Tributes as GP and 'staunch defender of the NHS' Dr Kailash Chand dies

Tributes have poured in for long-serving Manchester GP, BMA vice president and NHS...

Unfunded 3% pay rise could add £20,000 to average GP practice wage bill

Unfunded 3% pay rise could add £20,000 to average GP practice wage bill

GP practices in England could see their wage bill rise by £20,000 on average after...

Pandemic driving surge in burnout among trainee doctors and educators, GMC poll shows

Pandemic driving surge in burnout among trainee doctors and educators, GMC poll shows

One in three trainee doctors and a fifth of trainers feel burned out to a 'high'...

Quadruple funding for long COVID enhanced service, GPs warn

Quadruple funding for long COVID enhanced service, GPs warn

Funding for the long COVID enhanced service should be quadrupled to ensure practices...

GPs to start COVID-19 jabs for vulnerable children by 23 August 'at the latest'

GPs to start COVID-19 jabs for vulnerable children by 23 August 'at the latest'

GP-led sites delivering COVID-19 vaccination have been told to start rollout of jabs...