Hospital bosses: We didn't back forced doctors contract

Hospital bosses have distanced themselves from suggestions they agreed to a new junior doctors contract being imposed after their names were linked to a letter Jeremy Hunt used to justify the decision.

More than half of the NHS bosses named on a letter have said they are against the imposition of the new contracts.

The Health Secretary cited their support when announcing his decision to force through changes to pay and conditions.

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Social media 'made junior doctor talks more difficult'

Junior doctors during a recent strike over proposed new contracts. Credit: PA

Negotiations on junior doctor contracts were made "more difficult" by medics voicing their opinion on social media, the government's top negotiator has said.

Sir David Dalton, chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Trust, said comments on Facebook and Twitter had been a "huge impediment" to the talks, although he said they were not the main reason they failed.

"It's been done in a goldfish bowl of people giving real-time commentary and that makes it more difficult to create the space for negotiations," he is quoted in the Times newspaper.


Anger as junior doctors' contract to be imposed

Junior doctors in England protesting against the terms of a new contract have warned the imposition of the contracts could result in "a haemorrhage" of doctors out of the country.

Video report by ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston

But the health secretary has stood firm on his decision. Speaking to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, Jeremy Hunt said it is "not tenable" for him to give in to a union "if it's the wrong thing for patients".

In this situation we have had too much evidence for too long, that things are going wrong too often at weekends at our hospitals, so I have to do something about that.

– Jeremy Hunt, health secretary

A number of junior doctors joining the protest outside the Department of Health in London on Thursday said there was a serious danger of the highly trained medical professionals leaving the UK for countries such as Australia and Canada.

"If i could I probably would at this stage - I feel so backed into a corner", one said.

Another warned "Imposing something is just going to completely demoralise the workforce and result in a haemorrhage of young intelligent doctors out of this country".

Nine NHS bosses withdraw support for Hunt over imposition of junior doctors' contracts

Nine health trust bosses have withdrawn their support for Jeremy Hunt's plan for new junior doctors' contracts in England after it was announced they were to be introduced despite the failure to reach an agreement with the British Medical Association

Protesters out in force over the junior doctors contract row today Credit: ITV News

The names of 20 NHS bosses in England were attached to a letter advising the government to do "whatever it deems necessary" to break the deadlock with medics.

Now at least nine say they never supported the idea of forcing junior doctors to accept new contracts and did not back the Health Secretary's move.

One said she was not even aware her name was on the letter and had asked for it to be removed.

A number say they support the Government's contract offer but do not back doctors having to accept it.

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was imposing the contract Credit: ITV News

Claire Murdoch, head of the Central and North West London NHS FT, said she was not aware that her name was on the letter until it was published, and immediately asked for it to be removed.

Sir Andrew Cash, head of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (FT), said: "I support the improved offer made this week as fair and reasonable, but I do not support imposition".

Andrew Foster, of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS FT, said: "I have not supported contract imposition. I have supported the view that the offer made is reasonable."


Junior doctor says new contract is 'just not safe'

As protesters continue to make themselves heard outside the Department of Health, junior doctors have been digesting the news that the controversial new contract proposed by the health secretary will be forced upon them.

One junior A&E doctor, who previously said he didn't want to strike but said "the future of the NHS depends on it", now says "this demonstrates exactly the sort of negotiations that have been on offer."

Despite the advice and the protestations of thousands of the country's leading medical experts, some of their own advisers and some of their own politicians, Jeremy Hunt has today decided that he is going to impose his version of this contract.

– Dr Amar Mashru

Dr Mashru adds that it is "just not safe" to "take services that are already stretched, and spread them even thinner".

Protesters gather outside the Department of Health

A crowd of protesters have gathered outside the Department of Health in London, to protest against the imposition of a new contract for junior doctors.

Protesters outside the Department of Health Credit: ITV News

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs today he would be imposing the controversial new contract on doctors after talks with the British Medical Association failed.

Sturgeon to doctors: 'Come to train in Scotland'

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would welcome junior doctors. Credit: ITV News

Nicola Sturgeon has told ITV News Scotland is a "great place to train", amid anger from junior doctors in England over a contract being imposed by the UK government.

Speaking to ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith, the Scottish First Minister said: "The Scottish Government has taken the position that we don't want to impose a new contract on junior doctors, we want to work with junior doctors.

"It's not for me to pass comment on the actions of another government, but I much prefer an approach to the health service that is collaborative and working together with health professionals."

She referenced a recent campaign launched in Scotland to attract trainees, adding: "We have got an ambition for the future of health and social care services - come and be part of it."

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