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AIBU unreasonable to say everyone should know about the junior doctor's contract the government is trying to impose?

(323 Posts)
Addictedtocustardcreams Fri 18-Sep-15 07:27:11

The government is seeking to impose a new contract on junior doctors. By junior doctors I mean all those in training I.e. Not consultants and GPs. Starting salary for these doctors is £22636 plus a supplement for additional & antisocial hours worked.
The contract seeks to re-classify normal working hours so that 9am on a Tuesday will be the same as 9pm on a Saturday night (so normal hours Include up to 10pm 6 days a week). This will lead to a pay cut of 10-30% for all junior doctors depending on which specialty they work in. They also propose to remove certain safeguards over lack of breaks & working over contracted hours.
They also propose to entirely scrap a pay supplement for junior doctors training to be GPs. This was designed to make pay equivalent to that of a doctor in hospital training who receives the pay banding I mentioned above. There is already a recruitment crisis in general practice. One in ten posts in England are unfilled in a recent survey. Many training posts are unfilled too.
You might think this doesn't matter to you but we are all patients sometimes. I know people who won't be able to afford their mortgage if the contract is imposed and they plan to emigrate. What will happen to the NHS then?

godsavethequeeeen Fri 18-Sep-15 07:33:26

I saw something on twitter but I didn't know the details. Thanks for this.

Allgunsblazing Fri 18-Sep-15 07:38:02

It's going to be abismal. Who will want to be a doctor?!

Cloppysow Fri 18-Sep-15 07:40:33

I hate the Torys.

Stillyummy Fri 18-Sep-15 07:44:53

There is a petition against the changes.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Fri 18-Sep-15 07:46:13

That's the case for a lot of jobs though. Usually shift worker contracts say you're on a 7 day rota with weekends counted as weekdays. How about professionals like teachers and social workers who work those hours without the supplements doctors get?

I'm failing to see the problem

Blackcloudsbrightsky Fri 18-Sep-15 07:48:46

Teachers don't work weekends.

However, I do agree that many jobs don't offer an anti social hours payment but I think the point is that they should - if we set the base for 'well terrible companies don't so no one should' it gets a bit hmm

MythicalKings Fri 18-Sep-15 07:51:16

People are still queuing for places at med school, so I'm not worried yet. Lots of public services have to work weekends. Why not doctors?

Hamiltoes Fri 18-Sep-15 07:52:24

I heard from a junior doctor on facebook that their working week is increasing from 60-90 hours shock

They train for 8 years!!

VirtuosoRidiculoso Fri 18-Sep-15 07:53:51

LunchpackOfNotreDame Perhaps talk to some doctors. You do know doctors make quite serious decisions? Involving erm life and death?... Think about the impact of chronic tiredness on making these split second decisions.

I'm really upset at this. Thanks to the OP and for the petition link.

Blackcloudsbrightsky Fri 18-Sep-15 07:54:59

Quite Virtuoso

FishWithABicycle Fri 18-Sep-15 07:56:28

Thank you for posting this. It is hood thar the BMA is fully behind the junior doctors. E.g. this article

I for one would be fully supportive of the junior doctors striking if the government won't back down (obviously I assume that it would be designed to impact elective and non-urgent treatments not life-saving situations!). I would love to pay more tax in exchange for a secure and safe NHS (I'm not a doctor and don't work in the NHS or any related field) .

An NHS which is predicated on junior doctors working 90 hour weeks is not safe - employers must be prevented from the unsafe employments practices the new contract wants. Removing the safeguard that ensures doctors following the path to General Practice don't get a pay cut isn't going to help the gp recruitment crisis either.

Addictedtocustardcreams Fri 18-Sep-15 07:58:05

Doctors all work weekends and nights. I don't know any doctors who only work their contracted hours either.
Lunchpack I wouldn't disagree that the current contract is somewhat antiquated. However using a new contract to force through a massive pay cut is quite an issue don't you think?
Also people may well be queuing up to enter medical school but there are many other countries around the world where this is the case but the newly qualified doctors then look for the quickest route to working abroad. Do we really want to emulate this? Emigration of doctors has been increasing over the last few years.

wissleflower Fri 18-Sep-15 08:00:46

lunchpack you're reaction was so unbelievably predictable and simple it is almost funny. You might as well have said 'those greedy doctors, this'll teach 'em'. This is exactly what the Tories want the public to think, well done.

The reality is that with a starting salary a smidgeon above 22kk, trainee doctors are actually not very well paid (as stated in the op). To get there involves a minimum of 5 years study and student debt.

The reality of this new contract is that doctors won't be able to afford the pay cuts (could you afford 30% pay cut?) And will move abroad, where pay and conditions are much better.

When you consider it costs a minimum of 250k to train a doctor, these pay cuts are very much a false economy.

I'm a junior doctor, I love the NHS, and I want to stay in the UK. I don't know how I will afford to now.

HamaTime Fri 18-Sep-15 08:06:20

LunchpackOfNotreDame You don't see the problem with highly educated people being told asked to work 90 hour weeks for what works out to be less than minimum wage, with no protected meal or rest breaks?

The problem is they may

A - Make critical errors - maybe on you
B - Emigrate
C - Double their wages and halve their hours by taking a job managing a sandwich shop
D - It's an unacceptably shitty way to treat public sector workers

easterlywinds Fri 18-Sep-15 08:07:53

I think you should point out that out of that salary, junior doctors also have to pay their medical indemnity, exams and any training courses they have to attend.

Scarydinosaurs Fri 18-Sep-15 08:08:20

It's a pay cut, isn't it? Whilst they all got a pay rise. Total bastards.

Oh, teachers DO work weekends. Not just marking and prep- but who do you think runs Saturday morning sports fixtures and music rehearsals?

hiccupgirl Fri 18-Sep-15 08:13:32

I completely agree that these changes are unreasonable however much contracts are out of date. I have enough trouble getting to see my GP sometimes without the recruitment crisis getting worse.

And why anyone would think it's reasonable to expect anyone to be working 60-90 hours a week while making life and death decisions without some form of overtime payments, is beyond me. 22k is not a big starting salary for the level of responsibility and amount of studying taken to get there.

I've been a classroom teacher and regularly worked a 60+ hour week. That was exhausting enough without the added pressure of having people's lifes in my hands.

wonkylegs Fri 18-Sep-15 08:13:37

Even if you don't give a fuck about the doctors themselves them this should worry people. The proposals will put huge pressures on overstretched doctors and as more shortages occur (yes we already have shortages) the system will crumble. I really prefer if somebody is going to do surgery on me or my family or prescribe drugs that they are a) qualified b) not fall down tired after working a 90hr week c) actually want to be there rather than just the dregs no-one else wants
One of the reasons that the NHS does so well in the league tables internationally despite having a very low per capita spend is the staff who already go over and beyond what they are paid to do. This contract tells them they must do more for less and sod the consequences. People and systems have a breaking point.
In the long term it won't be drs that suffer when it all collapses, we'll still need them and will have to pay more as they go private and we have no choice, no it'll be the general public that suffers but it's too removed a concept for most people to grasp.
For context I'm not a Dr, I'm married to one and have a chronic condition so am very grateful to have an NHS.

peggyundercrackers Fri 18-Sep-15 08:14:02

These conditions are the same as a lot of other public sector workers and other professionals - they need to work long hours and their conditions aren't ideal either. sorry I don't see the issue...

Blackcloudsbrightsky Fri 18-Sep-15 08:20:35

Teachers do not have to undertake sports and music weekends as far as I am aware - perhaps independent schools are different; I don't know, but then private hospitals are also different.

There is a big difference in sitting with some exercise books in front of the X factor on Saturday night and running round a hospital!

Hamiltoes Fri 18-Sep-15 08:21:53

It's exactly what the tories want though isn't it? It'll be worse. And the worse it gets, the more they'll be doing us a favour by making "efficiencies" AKA privatisation.

mummyrunnerbean Fri 18-Sep-15 08:22:24

And this is why, once I finish medical school, my DH (who is a policeman with limited chance of career progression and even more limited chance of solving any actual crimes, due to cuts) will be emigrating. It makes me sad, as I spent most of my childhood abroad and love living back in the UK, but not as sad as the prospect of an entire career as a doctor in Britain makes me sad.

Binkybix Fri 18-Sep-15 08:25:24

I don't know much about this but on the face of it it seems absurd. I don't know what other public sector workers study for as long, have requirements so high and have conditions like this? I certainly don't want someone who has worked 90 hours making life and death decisions about me or my family.

atticusclaw2 Fri 18-Sep-15 08:31:02

Its a very difficult situation though given that we don't have limitless pots of money. And the reality is that whilst being a junior doctor might not be financially rewarding (remember this is about pay not about the long tiring hours), the financial rewards once they are senior are very worthwhile. Consultants earn very good money and they also have a generous pension provision and the opportunity depending on their specialism to earn tens of thousands on top by taking on private work.

I'm not saying it's an ideal situation by any means and I'm sure many will be surprised at the staring salary but it is a profession where you can earn a lot of money as you progress (again depending on your specialism).

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