AN OPEN LETTER FROM UK GRASSROOTS GPs TO JUNIOR DOCTORS
5th November, 2015
We are writing to you as your trainers, colleagues, former junior doctors and most importantly as your GPs to express our support at this testing time. We have been watching the events unfurl in the Junior Contract debate and have been appalled by the misuse of statistics, untruths and spin being uttered by the government about this unfair, unsafe new contract and the refusal of the Secretary of State to return to the negotiating table without pre-conditions.
Junior doctors work very hard. We have all been Junior Doctors at various times over the past 30-plus years, and consequently we know how unsafe working once was. The Government is refusing to negotiate on vital safeguards; putting patients and staff at risk and now suggesting that the CQC should be put in charge of hospitals adhering to their agreed working times. A somewhat misguided plan would be a charitable interpretation of this move.
The training you need to become the GPs of the future will be threatened by this contract.
General Practice benefits from the wealth of experience you have and will most effect:
• Those who may transfer over from other specialities to join General Practice.
• Those of you who wish to spend time doing research.
• Those of you who wish to take time out to have children.
This life, clinical and academic experience should be welcomed and encouraged, not
undervalued and underfunded. Although there have been reassurances that the GP supplement will not be removed, we are uncertain as to the validity of this reassurance until proper negotiation can take place without preconditions. Mr Hunt’s new offer via the media yesterday does not reassure us.
We know you work long hours and anti-social shifts that affect your lives, your relationships and your families. We know when you are not at work, you are studying for exams and attending courses. We know you do this for a fraction of the income the public believes you earn. Strike action may compromise care in the short-term, but we firmly believe the long-term effects of this ill-conceived contract are far more damaging. As GPs, we will try to support you through the stress that this contract change is having on you all as individuals. Please talk to your clinical supervisor or registered GP if things become too much.
We will support whatever decision you make.
Signed on behalf of UK GPs by the Committee of GP Survival, the Committee of
Tiko’s GP Group and the Partners of Resilient GP