Junior doctor contracts: ‘Trip back in time’ risk for patients

Devolution 21 Oct 2015Commenting on the deadlocked negotiations between the government and British Medical Association over new junior doctor contracts, Bristol South MP Karin Smyth said:

“Nobody should be surprised that junior doctors are angry about the proposed changes to their contracts which will cut pay for those currently working evenings and weekends.

“But patients across Bristol should be concerned too. And not just because the proposals are a threat to future recruitment of the world-class staff our NHS needs.

“As things stand, hospitals which force junior doctors to work more than their contracted hours face financial penalties. The extra expense deters them from doing so.

“The new contracts remove the financial penalties, which risks taking us on a trip back in time to the miserable days of overworked doctors who, despite their professionalism, were too exhausted to deliver the safe care we all need.

Patient anxiety

“The proposals are unfair on the profession. More importantly, they are unfair on patients, who are worried about the impact this is having on current services, and will become increasingly anxious about the safety of care they and their families rely on from the NHS.

“Negotiations have broken down and need to be put back on track. The Health Secretary needs to show he is prepared to negotiate and to put patients before politics.”