§ 22. Mr. Michael Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on his meeting with junior hospital doctors.
§ 27. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on his latest discussions with the Junior Staff Committee of the BMA over junior doctors' contracts.
§ 30. Dr. Vaughan
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will report on his meetings with the junior doctors over their contracts.
§ 40. Mrs. Chalker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on finalising the junior hospital doctors' contract.205W
§ 49. Mr. David Hunt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the junior doctors' contract.
§ Mr. Ennals
Yes. I had two meetings with representatives of junior hospital doctors earlier this month. Discussion centred on the basis on which payments should be made for annual and study leave. I explained that I could not accept the basis claimed by the juniors because it would be inconsistent with incomes policy. I made it clear, however, that I agree in principle with their claim and see no objection to its implementation as soon as pay policy permits. I hope that, despite their unwillingness so far to do so, the junior doctors will agree to defer their claim and to adhere to incomes policy.
Agreement has been reached between the Health Departments and the professions on all other outstanding aspects of the new contract for junior medical and dental staff.
There were useful discussions yesterday between the BMA and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, and the problems of the junior hospital doctors were among the issues discussed. It is the wish of both the Prime Minister and myself to establish a relationship of co-operation between the Government and the profession.
§ 28. Mr. Giles Shaw
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the staffing levels of junior doctors.
§ Mr. Ennals
Overall, yes. However some specialities are historically over-subscribed in the training grades, whilst others face recruitment difficulties. There is also uneven geographical distribution of training posts. These problems, and measures to alleviate them, are regularly reviewed with the medical profession in the Central Manpower Committee.
§ 62. Mrs. Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the pay of certain junior hospital doctors is to be cut by between £6 and £12 per week.
§ Mr. Ennals
I assume that the hon. Lady is referring to my recent decision about the annual and study leave of206W junior hospital doctors and dentists, and would refer her to my reply to the hon. Member for Cardiff, North-West (Mr. Roberts) today. The provision for pay in respect of annual and study leave which has been notified to health authorities will apply only to new contracts as these fall due; existing contracts drawn up on a different basis are not affected. Where a contract is entered into on the new basis, there will be no reduction in pay received during leave as compared with the rest of the year. All the units of medical time to which practitioners are entitled throughout the year—including the rate of entitlement during annual and study leave—will be averaged out in equal instalments every month, so that doctors will have a steady pay cheque throughout the year.