Health secretary ‘betraying’ profession says BHRUT junior doctor
- Credit: Archant
A junior doctor working in Havering has accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of “betraying” the profession in the ongoing contract dispute between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Simon Fleming, 32, an orthopaedic registrar at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), said: “The entire profession has said no, and one man has said yes.
“It’s frustrating and disappointing.”
Junior doctors, including those working for BHRUT, will be forced to accept a new contract without agreement or further negotiation, Jeremy Hunt announced last week.
BHRUT will be obliged to impose the contract on all junior doctors due to its non-foundation status.
Unlike standard NHS hospitals, foundation trusts can negotiate the contracts of doctors with their own hospital boards rather than with central government directly.
Dr Fleming said he feared there would be a mass exodus of junior doctors moving abroad to work in Australia and Canada.
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He said: “A lot of doctors can’t see that there is a reason to carry on working in the NHS and are considering moving abroad, or even leaving the profession.”
The long dispute has seen doctors from Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, go on strike twice.
In a statement to the House of Commons, the health secretary said the decision was made after the BMA proved “unwilling” to negotiate on whether Saturday nights should become a normal part of a junior doctor’s working week.
At the moment doctors receive a higher rate of pay when working outside of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday.
The new deal will extend the “normal” working hours from 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday.
Dr Fleming warned the removal could result in the NHS taking advantage of the lower rate of pay by asking doctors to work longer shifts.
However, the government has argued the extension of hours is a step towards the aim of patients having access to doctors seven days a week.