Negotiations set for new trainee contract

FORMAL negotiations look set to take place over a new contract for doctors in training.

The BMA has agreed to enter official talks with NHS Employers and employer representatives in the devolved nations. If they go ahead, it is likely discussions will begin in the autumn.

The BMA said discussions will cover every aspect of junior doctors’ working lives including job planning, training, working hours and pay.

This follows an Ipsos MORI poll in June commissioned by the BMA which asked trainees about the issues they’d like discussed. Among the most popular topics raised by more than 1,600 respondents were limits on working hours, scheduling, greater clarity over pay, advance notice of rotations and fixed annual leave.

Contract talks were sparked by government proposals at the end of 2012 to change the junior doctors’ contract. The current contract was agreed 13 years ago and the BMA believes there is scope for improvement.