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Medicopolitical Digest

Juniors win victory over new grade proposalsConsultants oppose hierarchical structureAssociate specialists will be eligible for discretionary pointsNHS regional offices will hold lists of consultant assessorsBMA warns doctors about computer securityDoctors in hard pressed posts will be compensatedPrivate hospital lost pounds sterling8.5m of public fundsSurvey shows changes in smoking and drinking

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 06 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:59
  1. Linda Beecham

    Juniors win victory over new grade proposals

    Junior doctors' negotiators have successfully persuaded the Department of Health to amend its proposals for the terms and conditions of service for the specialist registrar grade. Protraced negotiations were completed only the day before last month's meeting of the Junior Doctors Committee, which overwhelmingly approved the revised proposals.

    The new grade was proposed in the Calman report on specialist medical training, which called for a unified training grade as one way of shortening junior doctors' training. The grade was launched in diagnostic radiology and general surgery on 1 December 1995 with doctors retaining current terms of service. The department had originally proposed an all inclusive contract with no provision for out of hours pay; a national model contract with room for local flexibility; a uniform salary, paying all specialist registrars for an assumed 56 hours of actual work, regardless of whether the time figure for an individual doctor was higher or lower; and annual pay increments available only to those whose progress in the training grades was assessed as satisfactory. The JDC rejected these proposals at its October meeting (7 October 1995, p 954).

    At its December meeting the JDC congratulated Dr Peter Bennie, a psychiatric senior registrar in Glasgow who heads the negotiating team, and his colleagues for the outcome of the negotiations (see box). Dr Bennie in turn thanked the BMA, particularly the chairman of council and the chairman of the consultants' committee, for their support.

    Dr Bennie explained that doctors in the new grade will start on five weeks' annual leave and will qualify for six weeks two or three years earlier than at present. The department had agreed a six months' period of grace after the award of the certificate of completion of specialist training in order to allow doctors to apply for consultant posts. The …

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