Medicopolitical Digest

Junior doctors are still hard pressedBMA's concern over performance billJunior doctors to retain employment rightsGPs urged to take part in out of hours ballot

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 20 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1336
  1. Linda Beecham

    Junior doctors are still hard pressed

    More than 96% of junior doctors now comply with the new deal targets for contracted hours, according to a parliamentary written reply. The number of hard pressed on call posts contracted for more than 72 hours a week—which should have been eliminated by the end of last year—was 771 in February. A year earlier it was 6524. The rate at which these posts are being eliminated more than doubled in the previous four months.

    Health minister Gerald Malone, who gave the figures, said that the regions were making good progress in reducing junior doctors' hours, but there was still more work to be done. He believed that a ceiling on contracted hours had been established, though there were still too many junior doctors under pressure to work too long. A total of 1776 doctors in non-onerous posts were still contracted for more than 72 hours a week. Mr Malone said that the priority was to ensure that no junior doctor worked on average for more than 56 hours a week.

    Regional figures for hard pressed posts contracted for more than 72 hours range from nil in the North West Regional Health Authority to 189 in Anglia and Oxford. The details are: Northern and Yorkshire 162; Trent 60; Anglia and Oxford 189; North Thames 178; South Thames 95; South and West 20; West Midlands 67; North West 0. Total: 771.

    Commenting on the figures the chairman of the BMA's Junior Doctors Committee, Dr Andrew Carney, said that while working conditions had improved the new deal as a whole has not been delivered on time with …

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