RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said:
The RCP continues to give its unwavering support to our trainees during this difficult time. We are deeply disappointed that the government and the BMA have been unable to reach an agreement over the junior doctors’ contract, and that the Secretary of State has decided to impose the contract from 1 August. The imposition of the contract is likely to damage junior doctors’ morale even further, and do nothing for patient care, at a time when we most need to value, support and motivate our trainees.
Trainee physicians are the largest single group of junior doctors in the NHS, and are responsible for the majority of day-to-day care for very sick patients. The RCP wrote to the Secretary of State before Christmas outlining the steps that could be taken outside of the contract negotiations to improve working and training conditions for junior doctors, and also wrote in January to NHS Trusts to ask them to better support doctors in training. We are consulting our own trainees and pushing NHS Trusts to implement our recommendations. As I have said before, in order for our trainees to provide great care for patients in the future, they need to be supported now.