RCGP response to Government decision to impose junior doctors contract

Publication date: 11 February 2016

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “We are shocked and dismayed at the Government’s decision to impose a contract on our dedicated and committed junior doctors.

“Imposing a deal on junior doctors is wrong-headed, will inevitably damage morale across the NHS – and may damage patient care.
 
“We had hoped that ministers would ensure an agreement could be reached in a professional and amicable way, so that the two sides could bridge their differences in a constructive manner.
 
“We would ask whether the Government has carried out a structured and robust risk assessment, along with measures to evaluate the impact of their decision on patient safety.  
 
“If it has, we would urge ministers to publish the full results forthwith.”
 
She added: “The last few months have been incredibly tough for junior doctors, and have led to the lowest morale across our profession in a generation. Imposing a contract, in its current form, is asking junior doctors – the future of our NHS – to work under conditions in which they neither feel valued nor able to deliver safe patient care.
 
“The imposition of the contract will undoubtedly impair our efforts to recruit thousands of additional doctors into the NHS over the coming years in order to keep the health service sustainable – as many medical students are seeing this turmoil, not liking what they see, and turning away from medicine in the UK altogether.
 
“Doctors choose medicine because they genuinely want to care for their patients and contribute to the health service. It is evident that junior doctors do not think the proposed contract will allow them to do this.
 
“The College will continue to support our junior doctors.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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