Views And Reviews

From the junior doctors conference: Hospital life is like a soap opera

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6945.1719 (Published 25 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1719
  1. L Beecham

    The scenes in the recent television series Cardiac Arrest were true to life and seen in hospitals across the country, Dr Edwin Borman told the junior doctors conference last week. Dr Borman, who chairs the Junior Doctors Committee and is a senior registrar in anaesthetics in Birmingham, said, “I don't think that there is anything I have seen in Cardiac Arrest that I haven't heard of.” (The programme was reviewed on 23 April, p 1108.)

    Demands on junior doctors, he said, were outstripping what could be provided, and quality of care to patients was falling. Money and political will were needed to provide a service with reduced, safe hours for all doctors.

    Over the past year there had been calls from junior doctors for industrial action. Three prerequisites were required, Dr Borman pointed out. Firstly, junior doctors would have to prove that they had a just legal cause and that all other options had been pursued. Secondly, there would have to be a ballot of members and the BMA had now ensured that the mechanisms were in place if these were needed. Thirdly, the membership had to be motivated. The JDC's survey on hours of work earlier this year showed what sort of action doctors would be prepared to take if balloted on industrial action (26 March, p 860). Dr Borman believed that if action was taken over pay - the committee wants 100% overtime rates - the future of the review body could be in jeopardy with negotiations transferred to local NHS trusts. If action was taken over hours of work the new deal would be threatened.

    Differential rates of pay rejected

    Junior doctors have rejected the idea of differential rates of pay in different hospitals and specialties. This excludes the different rates paid for rotas, partial shifts, and full shifts and for seniority …

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