HC Deb 29 October 1999 vol 336 c1029W
Mr. Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to alter the rules on overtime for junior doctors so that they are paid more for working overtime. [95539]

Mr. Hutton

Traditionally, junior doctors are contracted for duty hours in excess of the standard working week in order to provide continuity of patient care and also to meet their professional and career training needs. These additional duty hours reflect the hours for which the doctor is contracted to be available to work and not the number of hours actually worked.

We have now reached agreement with the junior doctors' negotiators on the principles and structure of a new contract which will replace the old, over-complicated arrangements for next year. We propose a three-year deal to modernise junior doctors' pay, which promises greater rewards for those in the hardest working posts. This will mean that posts will be defined and rewarded according to agreed intensity criteria. Officials are currently negotiating these definitions with the junior doctor negotiators.