The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that any changes to doctors’ working conditions must be fair for doctors and good for patients and that their high-quality training and freedom to practise clinical autonomy for their patients must be paramount.
Speaking at an NHS Employers stakeholder meeting, BMA Council Chair, Mark Porter said that the Government’s contract proposals would have a far-reaching impact on doctors’ working lives and future careers.
He added that while doctors must respond to changing needs in order to improve care for patients, it is essential that any changes to terms and conditions must also be fair for doctors and good for patients.
Dr Porter said that the contract proposals needed to be based on an understanding of the challenges facing doctors and the NHS under the tough economic climate and the views and experiences of practising doctors.
He also cited the need for more and better clinical engagement and leadership and respect for professionalism and clinical autonomy when the contract is negotiated.
On junior doctors’ issues, Dr Porter said that the profession needs a contract that gives junior doctors the time and space to learn and added that progress made on limiting juniors’ working hours, which made hospitals safer for patients, should be safeguarded and that juniors would benefit from more stability of working patterns and income.
The consultation on the changes to the General Medical Services contract is under way and closes on the 26th of this month, after which the Secretary of State will consider all responses and take a decision on the final content of the contract for 2013/14.
As an accountant; David Jacobs offers a range of accounting, audit and taxation advice to the legal and medical professions.