Despite months of negotiations and industrial action, the first group of junior doctors – trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology – moved onto the new junior doctor contract from October 5.
This is a watershed moment in the NHS, as doctors are forced to work under a contract they have rejected.
And it couldn’t come at a worse time.
A recent British Medical Association study found that almost half of doctors are looking to move overseas as their morale is at an all-time low.
As the Government ploughs ahead, ignoring the outstanding areas of concern with the contract, many trusts feel they have little choice but to rush the implementation of the new terms and conditions. But trusts do have a choice.
The new contract will require major changes to be in place before the new contract can come into effect.
This is why the BMA is calling on trusts to delay implementing it and take the necessary time to get it right.
This contract needs to be right, not rushed.
It will affect a generation of doctors and have a huge impact on the quality of training and, with it, patient care.
Dr Mark Porter,
British Medical Association,