NHS Employers has written directly to 38,000 junior doctors inviting them to a series of open meetings to discuss a new contract for trainee medics.
It has arranged 11 separate events across the country following the British Medical Association junior doctors committee’s decision not to enter negotiations over planned changes to medics’ pay, terms and conditions.
The government has said in response to the BMA’s withdrawal that it will seek to impose a new contract from August next year.
The NHS Employers’ meetings will now effectively bypass the BMA to engage directly with trainees on details of the contract.
NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said: “I have written to all junior doctors to invite them to our roadshows so we can engage directly with each other to discuss a new contract.
“We want to listen to their concerns, understand their views on the many choices still to be made and discuss how the new contract may work.”
A number of junior doctors have expressed fears over pay cuts and longer working hours and a desire for industrial action to resist the government’s plans.
Members of the BMA junior doctors committee said NHS Employers’ offer of talks with the union was not valid as it required the BMA to accept a number of principles outlined by the independent Review Body of Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration, which it could not accept.
However, in an update on its website NHS Employers said: “Whilst the DDRB report largely agreed with the direction of our proposals, they stressed the requirement to resolve some vitally important details including areas of concern raised by the BMA.”
It said the outstanding issues included:
- negotiating pay levels/distribution;
- out of hours definitions;
- pay progression and levels of training; and
- safeguards for safe working and learning.