Camden and Islington hospital bosses against imposing contracts
- Credit: Archant
The chief executives of the Royal Free and Whittington NHS trusts have both condemned the government’s decision to impose the junior doctor contracts.
The contracts are set to be imposed after the British Medical Association refused Jeremy Hunt’s “final offer” last week.
Simon Pleydell, chief executive at Whittington Health Trust, spoke of his “concern”. He said: “It is immensely disappointing to see that national talks to agree a new contract have failed. Our junior doctors are a significant part of our services, helping to deliver safe and effective care to our patients. This is a bad outcome for all and is particularly damaging to the morale of a key group of staff who are essential to our workforce; both now and as our senior clinicians of the future.”
Royal Free chief, David Sloman, mirrored Mr Pleydell’s admiration for the work of junior doctors, saying: “I have the upmost respect for junior doctors, know how hard they work to deliver patient care and want to enjoy working with them for many years to come.”
Mr Sloman signed a letter addressed to Jeremy Hunt which advised him to “do whatever necessary to end uncertainty for the service and to make sure that a new contract is in place which is as close as possible to the final position put forward to the BMA.”
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He has since specified that, although he believes the contract offered was “reasonable”, he does not support contract imposition.
He added: “I am profoundly disappointed that the national negotiations have failed to reach an agreement with the BMA on a new contract for doctors in training. My view is that the best way to reach resolution is negotiation.”
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Camden and Islington junior doctors describe the decision as “disappointing” and “saddening”.
Dr Reena Aggarwal, junior doctor at The Whittington Hospital, said: “It has made us feel bullied and demeaned. We wanted a negotiated settlement and support a seven day service but this has to be implemented in a way that is safe for patients, which we feel the current proposals are not.”