OTG concerned by the impact of proposed junior doctor contracts
28 September 2015
The OTG represents the voice and interests of registrars and is influential in all aspects of the work of the College. As today’s registrars are tomorrow’s ophthalmologists, the issues that are changing the face of medicine in general and the way doctors are able to practice are a direct concern of the OTG.
The OTG has issued a statement regarding the proposed junior doctor contracts to be imposed in England from August 2016.
We are deeply concerned by the potential impact on patient safety and the wellbeing of junior doctors by the imposition of a new contract in England from August 2016. The new contract:
- Removes existing safeguards that penalise trusts from forcing excessive and dangerous hours from their medical workforce
- Penalises doctors who choose a more flexible career path and directly conflicts with the Shape of Training review by dis-incentivising research and undertaking less than full time training
- Whilst stated as cost neutral, creates significant uncertainty as to how the out of hours supplementation will be redistributed. It is currently unclear how Ophthalmology will be affected
The new contract is significantly less attractive than the current contract and there is a real risk of an exodus from the profession as talented medics seek careers elsewhere.
Academics, doctors who have young children and those wishing to train in multiple specialties will be particularly hard hit by the loss of pay progression.
We therefore urge all parties to return to negotiations so that essential stakeholders can work out the best approach for a sustainable medical workforce and to ensure that we deliver the best care to patients both now and in the future.
Dr Oliver Bowes
Ophthalmologists in Training Group
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists shares the concerns of ophthalmic registrars about the Government announcement that it plans to introduce a new contract for junior doctors in England from August 2016. Read the support letter from RCOphth president, Carrie MacEwen.
Medical Royal College presidents sign letter to seek further discussions with Secretary of State. See the co-signed letter to Jeremy Hunt here.