Thank you for your sending BOTA’s statement on the Junior Doctors Contract discussions.
Our Colleges recognise that surgical trainees are already providing high quality care that covers the seven days of the week and 52 weeks of the year. Any contract must recognise this as well as support education and training, service provision and recruitment across all surgical specialties. Any contract must also reflect the key principles outlined by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Charter for Doctors in Training.
Our shared priority is the safety of patients. We must ensure that we can continue to make improvements to working practices that reflect the wellbeing and diverse needs of doctors in training. We also recognise that trainees face additional pressures such as a greater level of debt following undergraduate education.
We understand your concerns as to the imposition of a contract containing the current proposals from the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists (DDRB). The potential impact on surgeons in training, especially for those who deliver out of hours care is a particular issue. In our view an imposed settlement is the wrong way to bring about contractual changes. We encourage NHS Employers and the Junior Doctors Committee to return to the negotiating table. We continue to hope for constructive dialogue but know you will understand that commenting on specific aspects of terms and conditions would not be appropriate for the Medical Royal Colleges. However we will continue to emphasise to all parties the fundamental contribution of our trainees in delivering a safe and high quality NHS.