Junior contract will be imposed, Hunt announces

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 11 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i885
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers

A new contract will be imposed on junior doctors in England, the health secretary has announced.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday 11 February, Jeremy Hunt said that David Dalton, the government’s chief negotiator during negotiations, had said that a breakdown of negotiations meant that a negotiated agreement was unlikely to be reached.

Hunt said that Dalton had asked him to “end the uncertainty” and proceed in introducing a new contract for junior doctors, which Dalton considered to be safer for patients and fair for junior doctors. “I have therefore today decided to do that,” Hunt said.

He said that, under the new contract, the maximum hours in a week that junior doctors could work would reduce from 91 to 72 and the number of nights from seven to four, and that the maximum consecutive days a junior doctor could work would reduce from seven to five.

“We will also introduce a new guardian role into every trust, who will have the authority to impose fines for breaches to agreed working hours, based on excess hours worked,” he said.

Hunt said that the …

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