BMA and government agree new junior doctor contract
- Credit: Archant
Junior doctors have agreed a deal with the government over the controversial new contracts proposed by the Department of Health.
The deal means doctors across the country will decide whether or not to accept the contract in a BMA ballot, which will be held in the next few weeks.
Dr Trevor Killeen, a junior doctor at James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, said: 'I think it's great they are in agreement providing it's a reasonable deal.
'I went to a BMA conference last week and I got the impression that progress was being made; the fact that they were extending the talks showed that.
Under the deal, Saturdays and Sundays will be paid at a normal rate during daytime hours, as is the case with the rest of the week.
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Any shift - on any day - which starts at or after 8pm and lasts more than eight hours, and which finishes at or by 10am the following day, will result in an enhanced pay rate of 37% for all the hours worked.
This represents a significant shift on the position held by the BMA in previous talks.
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To compensate for losing money on the weekend day shift, doctors will receive a percentage of their annual salary for working more than six weekends in a year.
Dr Killeen said there had been 'a lot riding' on the talks for both sides and added things were likely to get 'very ugly' had a deal not been struck.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'We welcome this significant agreement which delivers important changes to the junior doctors' contract necessary to deliver a safer seven day NHS.
'The talks have been constructive and positive and highlighted many areas outside the contract where further work is necessary to value the vital role of junior doctors and improve the training and support they are given.
'This deal represents a definitive step forward for patients, for doctors and for the NHS as a whole.'
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