Letters

Consultants' new contract

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7355.99 (Published 13 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:99

Shurely shome mishtake?

  1. William Westlake (willandsam@willandsam.fsnet.co.uk), consultant ophthalmologist
  1. Truro TR1 3LX
  2. South Shropshire Community Mental Health Trust, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1DA
  3. University of Southampton School of Medicine, Southampton, SO9 5NH
  4. Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  5. NHS Grampian, Summerfield House, Aberdeen AB15 2RE
  6. Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow G3 8SJ
  7. BMJ

    EDITOR—I think that there must be a mistake and I have downloaded the wrong contract from the BMA's website.1 The one I downloaded offers a 4% pay rise in return for a 16% increase in my clinical workload. Further pay rises are at the whim of my managers, to be paid five years in arrears provided that I meet conditions over which I have no control or work unpaid overtime.

    The contract I downloaded is a licence to enable my managers to order me in for routine surgery and clinics on weekday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays, for no extra pay, while paying me £1 an hour to be on- call at other times. Could someone please send me the other contract that Peter Hawker and the BMA are hailing as a resounding victory for my colleagues and me2 while I vote no to what is clearly a different contract.

    References

    1. 1.
    2. 2.

    So called victory in private practice obscures real contractual problems

    1. Simon Smith, consultant psychiatrist (si.smith@freeuk.com)
    1. Truro TR1 3LX
    2. South Shropshire Community Mental Health Trust, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1DA
    3. University of Southampton School of Medicine, Southampton, SO9 5NH
    4. Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    5. NHS Grampian, Summerfield House, Aberdeen AB15 2RE
    6. Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow G3 8SJ
    7. BMJ

      EDITOR—Reports on the proposed consultant contract have focused too heavily on the concessions obtained over private practice and the headline figure of a 20% pay rise.1 The pitfalls of the contract far outweigh this victory.

      Firstly, few doctors will immediately, or in the near future, get a 20% rise in pay. Essentially we are being promised a 20% rise staged over 20 years, or 1% a year. For many this rise will be offset in part by loss of domiciliary fees, category 2 work, and the loss of intensity payments. My own pay rise will be 2-3%—hardly a princely sum given I work full time for the NHS.

      Secondly, the new contract seeks to make evening working up to 10 pm and weekend morning work an acceptable part of the working week, remunerable at standard rate. I find this appalling. Junior doctors have spent years fighting to be …

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