Hospitals may refuse to impose Jeremy Hunt’s new contract on junior doctors

Hunt is smiling nervously because he knows he has no reason to smile [Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images].

A group of junior doctors was in the studio audience of The Last Leg, on Channel 4, this week.

Asked if they would seek work in other countries rather than take Jeremy Hunt’s new contract, a significant majority said they would.

If hospitals have really found a loophole that allows them to ignore Hunt’s contract, then that is a far more acceptable alternative.

Hunt can face the consequences alone.

Hospitals may go it alone and refuse to impose the new contract on junior doctors proposed by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on NHS trainee medics from August.

The Guardian has established that none of the 152 foundation trust hospitals in England will be obliged to force their junior doctors to accept the deal and can instead offer them better terms.

The disclosure of an opt-out for top hospitals threatens to derail the health secretary’s controversial push to impose new terms and conditions on all 45,000 junior doctors that has sparked their bitter and long-running dispute.

Labour claimed the loophole showed that Hunt’s plan was falling apart. “Jeremy Hunt’s decision to impose the junior doctors’ contract seems to be unravelling with every day that goes by,” said the shadow health secretary, Heidi Alexander.

“The fact that hospitals are trying to find ways around contract imposition underlines the extent to which the decision to impose a contract that nobody wants would destroy morale in the NHS.”

Source: Hospitals may refuse to impose Jeremy Hunt’s new contract on junior doctors | Society | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


9 thoughts on “Hospitals may refuse to impose Jeremy Hunt’s new contract on junior doctors

  1. Mr.Angry

    Sadly this is what the Tories may want so they can bring in the profit seeking privateers who are hanging in the background waiting to pounce on tax payers funds. Hunt has probably been promised a directorship along the way.

    I could never believe such few elected politicians could tear a country apart within the few years of power.

  2. Dez

    Maybe that’s the master planning of this Hunts great strategic brain cell. By letting the hospitals bypass his wise new contract hospitals will automatically incur higher wage costs that most do not have the funds to pay. This new wage increase will just add to their overspend burdens which they then have to go cap in hand to this wonderful Government and beg for some more dosh to bail themselves out…..which then goes public and increases Cons case for privatisation.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s not a wage increase. Hunt has always said the new contract is cost-neutral, therefore hospitals not imposing his contract won’t have any extra costs.

  3. Joan Edington

    This sounds good and, if enough hospitals actually do this to make Hunt scrap the whole idea, great. I worry ,though, about the effect on those hospitals not able to use the “top” “foundation trust” hospital loop-hole if Hunt does go ahead with enforcement. I can see them being unable to attract junior staff who would obviously head for the hospitals with the better conditions. I don’t know enough about English hospitals to know how many would be affected.

  4. Helen

    A number of years ago nurses were given new contracts but a friend of mine refused to sign one so he is still on the old contract. I hope this will be the case for the junior doctors, that they can refuse to sign the contract and stay on the old one.

    1. Dez

      Helen, That sounds a much fairer way forward and accommodates those that wish to accept and those that want to decline to sign the new contract. In such cases it will also become much clearer just which camp was correct with regard to the contracts impact and life style changes etc.

Comments are closed.