Breakthrough on Hunt-Docs Deadlock

Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London (File)

The Acas and BMA hope the new deal will end the ongoing tussle between junior doctors and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The deal was formulated after 10 days of intensive talks….reports Asian Lite News

Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London
Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London

Acas has submitted the agreement to the government and NHS employers, and to the BMA.

“This has now been agreed by all parties as resolving the current dispute subject to securing the support of BMA junior doctor members in a referendum,” the statement added.

Work will be done together by both sides over the next two weeks to finalise the communications with BMA members on all the details of the agreement and their new contract. Some elements of the new contract, if approved in the referendum, will be implemented in August this year and all junior doctors will move on to the agreed new terms between October 2016 and August 2017. No further industrial action will be called while the referendum is underway.

The negotiations over the last 10 days have been chaired throughout by Acas Chairman Sir Brendan Barber.

Sir Brendan Barber said: “The negotiators from both sides have worked with great intensity and in a good spirit to achieve this breakthrough. I have particularly appreciated the positive leadership shown by Sir David Dalton and Dr Johann Malawana throughout these talks. I am grateful too that the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt engaged directly with the negotiations to help move the discussions forward.

“This long running dispute has clearly been an extraordinarily difficult period for the NHS. So I am glad that as well as cooperating closely in preparing the communications for the upcoming referendum, all the parties are also strongly committed to tackling together the bigger, wider challenges facing the NHS.

“Acas has been pleased to have been able to play a part in constructing a positive way forward.”

Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “Following intense but constructive talks, we are pleased to have reached agreement.

“Junior doctors have always wanted to agree a safe and fair contract, one that recognises and values the contribution junior doctors make to the NHS, addresses the recruitment and retention crisis in parts of the NHS and provides the basis for delivering a world-class health service.

“I believe that what has been agreed today delivers on these principles, is a good deal for junior doctors and will ensure that they can continue to deliver high-quality care for patients. This represents the best and final way of resolving the dispute and this is what I will be saying to junior doctors in the weeks leading up to the referendum on the new contract.”

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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