There has been a lot of dissatisfaction recently with the way the government has imposed its new contract. Essentially the government imposed a new contract on the trainee doctors. This comprises of two main issues.
- Timing of unsocial hours. Currently any time worked outside 9 – 5 Monday to friday is unsociable time and attracts a higher payment for banding. The government want to change this. From the future, work on Monday to Saturday 7 AM to 11 PM is normal working time.
- Increase in Basic salary by 13%. This will increase the salary that doctors get for working the first 40 hours of every week
This is unlikely to affect you unless a large proportion of your work is shift time. Work in Accident and Emergency (Casualty), Intensive care where you are rostered on a shift system might miss out, but other junior doctors do not miss out.
Why are the Junior doctors pissed off?
In the past Junior doctors used to work longer hours but used to get protected rest time. This included 4 hours of sleep when on shift if you were working 24 hours. There would be two “SHOs” on call and one would hold the bleep while the other rested. This would be by mutual agreement of the team and meant that all would share out work equally and finish at the same time. All jobs would be complete. With implementation of the European working time directive, the trusts pulled out the second SHO and created a full shift. This meant that essentially one junior doctor would do the whole night but they would get more time off.
This lead to fragmentation of team work, leaving on the dot of 9.30 AM (handing over work to the next team rather than complete it before you left after your shift) and increase in amount of work when you are actually working..
Has it reduced Training opportunities?
In my opinion it has. Medicine has always been a working as you learn affair. If you put a lot of work on a junior doctor, then learning is impacted. Please utilise your zero days to good effect and don’t treat these days as extra leave.