Junior Doctors contract

Yesterday I recorded this weeks politics programme for the BBC and the main topic for debate was the dispute over the contract of employment for junior doctors in the NHS. A dispute which led this week to them going out on strike. The reason why the government want to change the contract is to provide more flexibility in the drawing up of work rotas so that there is more cover at weekends and more services can be provided on week round basis.

In return for this flexibility the basic pay of junior doctors is being increased by 11%. Because basic pay is being increased it also means the amount paid into the doctors pensions is also being increased. The maximum working week is being cut from 91 hours to 72 hours and a new shift pattern of 4 night shifts or 5 long day shifts is proposed instead of the current contract which allows for 7 consecutive night shifts or 12 consecutive long day shifts.

Published by David Nuttall

Business and Political Consultant

31 thoughts on “Junior Doctors contract

  1. Millions agree with me too & so does Nature. Much better when pubs only opened short hours.

    1. So how exactly does nature agree with you…?

      You seem to long for some idyllic distant past that simply doesn’t exist any more…

      Things won’t change back because we change shop opening hours. Times have changed, everybody has moved on – you should too.

      You know, I remember when you could drive anywhere on Xmas day and the roads would be completely empty. Now the roads are the same as any other day.

      My step-father remembered when he had the only car in the street and had to hang a paraffin lamp on it at night. Now the street is so packed with cars on both sides of the road and without a resident’s permit you can’t get a parking space. Changing the shop and pub opening hours won’t return us to those times.

      We’re in the 21st century now, people have different expectations of how and when they spend their leisure time. The shops and pubs are in tune with this new reality and the vast majority of people agree.

      Hospitals should move into the 21st Century too and offer 24/7 service to their customers – the people that pay for the services through their taxes and expect it.

      1. Yes this horrible 21st century.
        We need to bring jobs to people instead of everyone having to drive miles to work.
        We need to reduce the population by about ten million.
        We need to stop this pollution of our world by having one day a week when we don’t drive much & when people rest.
        Things have changed & not for the better !

      2. Ooooookay….

        So, it turns out you are a complete nutjob then?

        The 21st Century is horrible and we need to kill millions of people so that you can have a quieter Sunday…?

        You do realise how completely insane you sound don’t you…?

        You’d have people queuing up at the gas chambers (not on a Sunday obviously) so that you could pop round to your relatives for a Sunday dinner with no traffic on the roads…?


      3. Changing what I said yet again you complete idiot !
        Who said anything about killing ?
        What I said was there are too many people & the country has now become too busy.

        What has happened is the way of horrible places, called cities, has now been forced onto the people in the country.

        It was much better 30 to 40 years ago !

      4. So how would you propose to reduce the population by ten million then…?

        And you do of course realise that people LOVE cities! All over the world the poor are flocking to the cities because they are so much better than the life the lived before!

        Why do you think London is so popular…?

        a) because it is a horrible place as you claim.
        b) because people love living in cities

        I’ll give you a clue, nobody is forced against their will to live in a city so we can safely assume that the answer is b) and you are wrong again.

        It is amazing that somebody who apparently loathes the modern world and would like to return to a time 40 years ago when ‘it was so much better’ has a computer and Internet connection – neither of which were available in 1976! I bet you have a mobile phone and other trappings of the modern world that you claim to despise too!

        And you call me a complete idiot! You do make me laugh!

      5. Obviously you are thick. We reduce the population by not letting many in.
        The reason people go to cities is for money or greed with quite a few.
        As for computers I started working on them around 78 but I wasn’t talking about technology, I was talking about how we live & how it is now too busy even in the country.
        This is why there are so many who now have mental illnesses.
        Manc-Chester also has poor air quality because there are much too many miles driven now.
        As I said from the beginning, we need to look after nature.
        We need to go forwards to the 60’s / 70’s because we have gone backwards over the last 40 years.

      6. No, I don’t think I am the thick one…

        You are the one that wants to return to the 60s yet has a computer and internet connection that wasn’t available then.

        No doubt there are other aspects of modern day living that you enjoy while fantasising about a past that can never be returned to. Moreover, you wish to deny others the chance to enjoy modern-day features that they choose because they offend you.

        What a bizarre hypocrite you are!

      7. No hypocrisy here.
        I am talking about how we live & not technology.
        I am talking about how people are ruining the country & its people.
        I’m talking about over population & things being none stop.
        We need to rest for a day per week.
        Oh and if the hospital sent me an appointment for a Sunday I would ask to change it for a weekday one. Accident & Emergency and ongoing treatment only at weekends !

      8. You are a hypocrite!

        You long for an impossible-to-return to time in the 60s yet wish to retain all the trappings of the 21st Century. Your computer, your car your phone the shops you use the TV, the treatments available at hospital (weekdays or weekends), on-line shops, cash machines, automatic washing machines, cheap groceries, fresh (seasonal) foods available all year round…

        Everything but everything about your lifestyle today that you enjoy would have been different then including the extended lifetime you will enjoy and which has in turn resulted in the ‘over-population’ that you complain of… Life expectancy was 67 in 1960 and it is ~76 now…

        We’re in the 21st Century, we live a 24/7 lifestyle and we not only love it but we are clearly (as life expectancy shows) thriving on it.

        And hospitals need to catch up with the rest of society and offer a 24/7 service to their customers too.

      9. I’m not a hypocrite but you must be twisted in the head because you keep twisting things I say or you’re just a wind up merchant.
        My life was better in the 60’s & 70’s. We had a car & television then.
        What was better was life.
        The country & the country way of life is being ruined, not by advances in technology, by how people are making the world much much much much much too busy.
        It’s doing our planet no good whatsoever.
        And I don’t know about virtualbarman, you seem like a real bar steward.

      10. Bar Steward eh? I hope you didn’t spend too long thinking that one up…

        You can always tell when somebody has lost an argument – they ignore your points and resort to ad hominem attacks instead…

        Look, you are a hypocrite – you look back on the 60s with rose tinted glasses remembering how much better they were in your opinion. But the truth is you wouldn’t return to those days without taking all the trappings of your 21st Century lifestyle with you.

        Unless you have eschewed all modern developments and would refuse modern medical miracles like MRI scans for you and your family if taken ill then yes, you are a hypocrite.

        All you really want is everything you have now but for the roads to be quieter on a Sunday – but you can no more pick and choose that (and force it on everybody else) than I can choose not to have a Wednesday in the week.

        And we can tell once and for all who is right and who is wrong here…

        If you are correct and everybody longs for the ‘olden days’ when Sunday was sacred then the shops, pubs and restaurants would be empty on a Sunday.

        But they aren’t are they? Millions upon millions of people have adapted to the modern 24/7 lifestyle which allows them to plan their work and leisure time as they see fit – not some spoilsport who wants to force his miserable 1960s existence on them.

        And the NHS should catch up with the 21st century too.

      11. I haven’t twisted anything…

        You are sitting there using a PC and the Internet claiming you want to travel in time back to 1960…

      12. I will say it again seeing you are so numb. I was talking about how we live & how the country has become like a city which is not good for us, for nature or for peace.
        I never mentioned technology.
        You can still live with technology & not be a 24 hr per day / 7 day per week world.
        Only the most essential services should be available at weekends. Normal hospital appointments are not required at weekend.
        Got that into your thick head now ?
        Out !

      13. As I said before, people with no argument always resort to ad heminem attacks – shouting ‘numb’ and ‘thick head’ are arguments for the playground… Don’t you realise how that weakens your case?

        As for your case…

        I said before, you long for a time that is past. Over. Finished. You need to understand that we are in the 21st century and accept everything that goes with it – good and bad. You can’t choose to use the good bits as you do every day and impose the bad bits on everybody else.

        We can no more go back to 6-day a week shopping than we can go back to a time before we landed on the moon.

        And as I said before, the evidence is that most people (72% according to a recent survey) think that is a good thing.

        Like it or not, we WILL move closer and closer to a 24/7 society where you can choose your shopping and leisure times without being constrained by some 19th Century dogma.

        And the idea that you can’t get something on a randomly chosen day of the week – including hospital treatment – will seem absurd.


  2. Les Nuttall:

    I can’t reply to your reply to my comment for some reason…

    Yes wards are open at weekends of course they are. But nothing happens, there is no treatment, blood tests, scans, etc. everybody who has ever been admitted to hospital knows that the weekend is a waste of time when they will receive minimum care.

    I presume your desire to prevent the weekend becoming the same as weekdays is based on religious grounds? You rather unfairly wish to impose your religious beliefs on the entire population, preventing them from shopping on a Sunday, enjoying a drink in the afternoon or receiving medical attention in hospital.

    Some caring ‘god’ you worship eh?

    1. Well actually there are blood tests, scans etc at weekend & no it’s not for religious reasons. Last time I entered a church would have been for a funeral or similar.
      As for minimum care at weekend that is a load of rubbish because you get the same care all week. The only things they don’t do are planned work.
      Sunday is a family day & although it started from religion for about the last 30 years it hasn’t really been very religious. We need one day per week where most people can relax & spend time with family but if they do have to work they paid a premium to make up for having to do so. We also need to give nature one day per week to recover from all the traffic & fumes.
      It was much better before supermarkets started opening on a Sunday.

      1. “It was much better before supermarkets started opening on a Sunday.”

        In your humble opinion it was much better! Clearly, for the millions of people that use the shops, pubs and restaurants on a Sunday opening 7 days a week is a great thing!

        It is not for you to dictate what people do with their spare time, be it spend it with family or go down to Tesco and do the weekly shop.

        As for hospitals, my experience is that patients languish pointlessly in them over the weekend, waiting for Monday when scans and blood tests can be carried out – unless it is an emergency of course.

      2. It’s not up to other people to dictate when I can have a peaceful time & be able to relax either.
        As I say it was much better thirty years ago.
        Other people decided to ruin our way of life.

      3. @ Les Nuttall

        Nobody forces you to go to the shops or pub on a Sunday. You are quite able to relax and have a peaceful time without spoiling it for everybody else.

        The Millions of people that visit the shops on a Sunday are obviously of the opinion that it wasn’t better thirty years ago. I agree.

        I remember when I worked 5½ days a week and the only time I could shop was on a Saturday afternoon with everybody else. I remember working on some home improvement or DIY project on a Sunday but being unable to finish because I had run out of something and all the shops were shut. It was terrible.

        Nobody has ruined your life at all. They have just given us more shopping options which you are free to ignore. Perhaps you should move to Cyprus where the government has just decided to bring back restricted shopping hours with everything closed Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and all-day Sunday? Much to the disgust of the population I might add…

      4. I too used to work 5 1/2 days per week and nipping round to a relatives for Sunday dinner was really good. Now there is more traffic than during the rush hour on a weekday.
        Nowadays you can shop during the week, 24 hours. I like shopping at 05:00 hours when it is quiet & the shelves are full of fresh produce. The market is good from about 07:30
        You can also have deliveries rather than having to fight the hordes on a Sunday.
        I know we have problems with over population today but Sunday’s are nowhere near as good.
        Oh and DIY shops were allowed to open on a Sunday.

        No, the past was much better.

      5. As I said before, in your humble opinion things were better… Millions disagree with you.

        And no, I remember when all shops were closed – including DIY – and pubs were only open from 12-2 and 7-10 on a Sunday.

        And you could only buy newspapers and magazines but not books bringing about the bizarre situation where you could buy a copy of Razzle but not a bible.

  3. If it was an emergency you could have visited the hospital or the walk in centre as there already is 24 hour 7 day per week cover. No need to have any more doctors working at weekend.

  4. My gas boiler stopped working on Saturday morning. Fixed by 1 pm. If I had a minor medical emergency requiring a hospital visit I’d probably have to wait until 1 pm to see anybody. Get on with it Jeremy.

  5. Sounds great. Too bad that all the doctors seem to think that they will be worse off – working more antisocial hours for less pay. They must be stupid.

  6. Dear David,
    First of all weekends are not for working except for essential services. Sunday is a family day and should continue to be so.
    To stop any employees turning the weekend into part of the week everyone should be paid at least double their weekday rate on a Sunday. This should be a law.
    Weekends should be as it is now with A&E cover. We don’t want standard hospital appointments at weekend. I would not want an operation at weekend that is none emergency.
    I did start a petition for a law to make Sunday & bank holiday working be paid to everyone at at least double pay. When you won the last election all petitions were cancelled so I will have to do another.
    Les Nuttall

    1. Just to explain the reason why all petitions are cancelled when there is a general election, it is because these are petitions to Parliament and when there is a general election there is a new Parliament elected and so, by definition the petitions to the previous Parliament are no longer valid.

    2. I see no reason why the NHS shouldn’t provide a 24/7 service as many other organisations manage to.

      We all know that nothing happens in hospitals at weekends (A & E excepted of course), it is a massive wast of resources.

      1. Most wards are still run at weekends, it isn’t just A&E.
        The problem is that the weekend is becoming the same as weekdays & we need to stop this happening.
        It was much much better when supermarkets were closed on a Sunday & pubs were open shorter hours.

  7. More flexibility in working rotas is not what the doctors want, they haven’t got a problem with the rotas- so why change them? the doctors want a decent relationship with their patients and by drawing up work rotas is going to discourage this! The main dispute is making doctors work more unsociable hours, whilst getting a 25% pay cut! I’d like to refer you to my article: https://time4politibs.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/for-the-first-time-in-40-years-juniordoctorsstrike-2/https://time4politibs.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/for-the-first-time-in-40-years-juniordoctorsstrike-2/

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