MK Hospital chief’s diagnosis of junior doctors’ row

Chief executive Joe Harrison
Chief executive Joe Harrison

MK Hospital boss Joe Harrison says it is “deeply regrettable” that a contract has been imposed on junior doctors.

The chief executive has issued a statement following today’s news that negotiations had broken down after the British Medical Association rejected a final offer from the government.

Health minister Jeremy Hunt will now enforce that Saturdays from 7am to 5pm become part of the normal working week for all 45,000 junior doctors.

Mr Harrison said the “take it or leave it” offer proposed by NHS negotiator Sir David Dalton was “reasonable”.

He added: “The decision to impose the contract was the Secretary of State’s to make. An imposed contract is certainly something I hoped I would not see at the end of this process, and personally I feel it is deeply regrettable.

“What is most important for me overall is for junior doctors to be working appropriate hours, appropriately remunerated and, as importantly, to feel valued, motivated and excited by a career in the NHS.

“Those will remain my guiding principles in implementing the national decision locally in the coming weeks and months.”

Mr Hunt also announced today that he will extend junior doctors’ normal hours from 7pm on weekdays to 9pm. It means trainee medics will lose overtime payments they have previously been given for working anti-social hours.

However, Mr Hunt said basic pay would rise by 13.5 per cent when the new contract is implemented by August.