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28.01.16

‘If Dalton can’t do deal with junior doctors, no-one can’ – Stevens

Sir David Dalton is the best person to try to strike a fair deal with the BMA on the ongoing junior doctor dispute,  NHS England chief Simon Stevens has said – and if Dalton can’t do it, no-one can.

In the organisation’s board papers for a meeting held this afternoon, Stevens said concerns still remain about the effect on patient care of the BMA’s planned walkout in February.

Because of the ongoing dispute driven by a highly divisive contract, the government recently appointed Salford Royal’s chief executive, Sir David, to lead on discussions with the union’s junior doctor members.

“If he is unable to get a fair agreement with the BMA that works for both sides, it’s not obvious that anyone can,” Stevens said.

The Lords also debated the contract row yesterday, with Labour’s Lord Turnberg arguing that the reason why junior doctors are still threatening to stage a full 24-hour walkout next month is “not so much the pay, but because this is the last straw in a continuing series of alienation”.

Health minister Lord Prior of Brampton, the former CQC chair, also praised Sir David’s work in heading up negotiations with the union, admitting he is hopeful the Salford boss is able to reach a conclusion before further strike action.

He argued that doctors were “extremely well remunerated by any international comparison” between 2004 and 2007, but said that has eroded over time, which is why junior and senior doctors feel they are not properly valued and appreciated.

Meanwhile, Stevens claimed in today’s board papers that “constructive negotiations” on the 2016-17 general medical services (GMS) contract are “well advanced” with the BMA, despite citing the contract’s final stages as one of the main reasons why NHS England has assigned primary care a ‘red’ status for delivery confidence.

The NHS England chief also repeated his intentions to launch the much-anticipated GP funding and primary care programme next month, including measures on workforce, workload and service redesign.

He promised the major package will “go much further than any one year’s contract can in helping GPs with the real pressures they face”.

(Top image c. MAHSC)

Comments

Dr. Koshy   29/02/2016 at 20:54

"Continued alienation is the last straw". This represents well, the last blow which fells the tree. Over the last several years, the policy makers discuss with some senior management staff and come to conclusions on work, pay, policies etc. The staff who work at the coal face and their representatives ,the BMA are not listened to. Consultants have not had a pay rise in 7 Years, yet MPs have had a substantial rise some months ago. Why would not the medical population feel alienated? Another example is the interpretation of data to give a suggestion of increased mortality at weekends in order to turn public opinion against doctors. I ask, how many people have actually read that document and actually agree with the erroneous conclusion? No wonder doctors feel alienated. Does JH know what it is to work as a junior doctor? Why does he not have what it takes, to come and shadow one of them on a night shift in a busy hospital before talking balderdash.

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