Dear Members, I have just finished a meeting at BMA house regarding an update on the proposed contract negotiations lead by Johann Malawana chair of the JDC fresh from his speech at the Conservative party conference. His private meeting with Secretary of State Mr Jeremy Hunt bore no fruit unfortunately with Mr Hunt continuing to insist on implementation of the contract and ALL DDRB proposals with negotiation on the finer points after full capitulation.
http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/in-depth-junior-and-consultant-contract/ddrb-recommendations-analysis-for-juniors The BMA will not re-enter negotiations until the following criteria are met: 1. Recognition of antisocial hours at premium time 2. No disadvantage to those working antisocial hours compared to current contract 3. No disadvantage for those working less than full time or on parental leave compared to current contract 4. Pay for all work done 5. Proper hours safeguards protecting patients and their doctors
What can you do to help? As you may be aware the BMA will shortly be balloting for potential industrial action, it is the viewpoint that the best strike is one we don’t have to do. In order for us to continue to gain ground in terms of public opinion we need to continue the current media storm and explain to our patients who we are and what we do. Key points to get across are: 1 – Patient safety 2 – Doctor safety 3 – Any industrial action will be a last resort and a measured balance between potential risk to patients in the short term meaning when action takes place versus potential risk to patients in the long term meaning overworked doctors making mistakes due to contractual safeguards being removed.
Tell your story to the media and breakdown the misconceptions that junior doctors are either students or fresh out of university doctors. Show people that we are people too with families of academic interests that should not be penalised. Petition your college to support trainees. Meet with your MP at their surgery or write a letter again the more personal the better. Publicise to your non medical colleagues that after us this will be rolled out to all agenda for change staff. Attend your regional BMA events for updates on the contracts and support any rally’s in your area. Be creative if you think of a way to get your message across go for it! The current publicity we are achieving is making the DoH and NHS employers very uncomfortable.
The BMA will continue to role out the facts but it will take the grass roots movement from all of us to win over the public.
Follow me on Twitter or email me any questions this is an attack on our professional integrity and our ability to train in the apprenticeship model and I for one am going to fight it.
Best wishes James