- Almost 9,500 junior doctors vote in favour of changes made to 2016 contract
- Brings end to long-running dispute with NHS and government
- BMA junior doctors’ committee chair Jeeves Wijesuriya says negotiation process learned from past mistakes
Junior doctor members of the British Medical Association have voted in favour of changes secured to their contract deal, ending the long-running dispute with the NHS.
The changes secured by the BMA to the 2016 contract, which was imposed by the government in the wake of the first strike action by junior doctors in 40 years, were approved by 9,449 doctors, the equivalent of 82 per cent of those who voted in the special referendum.
Changes included additional pay for doctors working the most weekends, an enhanced rate of pay for shifts that finish between midnight and 4am, annual pay uplifts of 2 per cent a year until 2023 and a new nodal pay point for senior registrars.
However, previously agreed changes to pay banding and weekend working, which were won by the NHS and the DHSC in 2015, will remain in place under this new agreement.
The new changes are expected to cost £90m. The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the costs will be met from NHS England’s existing budget settlement.
BMA junior doctors’ committee chair Jeeves Wijesuriya said “major strides” had been made towards a better future for junior doctors “through a new collaborative, constructive negotiation process that learned from the mistakes of the past”.
“There is of course a great deal more that needs to be done to improve the wellbeing and working lives of junior doctors, and the junior doctors’ committee will remain at the forefront of campaigns for a better funded, well-staffed and publicly run health service,” Dr Wijesuriya said.
NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said: “This agreement comes as a result of incredibly hard work on all sides to review and improve the contract, and to build a safe and constructive way forward for this crucial part of our workforce.”
Mr Mortimer added: “This outcome brings an end to the BMA JDC’s long-running dispute with government and we look forward now to implementing the agreement and to a positive long-term relationship with the BMA junior doctors’ committee.”