Junior doctors’ contract: the sticking points in negotiations

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 07 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i98
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers

After its announcement of industrial action, the BMA is set to re-enter talks on the junior doctors’ contract on Friday. Abi Rimmer explores the outcome of previous negotiations and the issues still under dispute

This Friday the BMA and NHS Employers are expected to re-enter talks, facilitated by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), on the junior doctors’ contract. Negotiations previously came to a standstill on 4 January, and the BMA announced that junior doctors in England would take industrial action.1

After the announcement both sides expressed a desire for Acas to facilitate talks, and David Dalton, chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, was appointed by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, to take these forward.2

Industrial action by junior doctors had previously been scheduled for 1 December 2015 but was called off on 30 November, when NHS Employers and the BMA agreed to re-enter negotiations after Acas talks.

Negotiations continued, and on 24 December Johann Malawana, chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said that there were still “a couple of absolute areas of disagreement.”3 Malawana said that, if an acceptable outcome was not …

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