The North Thames LNC Fora and North East London Regional Consultants’ Committee took place on 14th September. At BMA House (3- 6.45 pm)
The LNC Fora was chaired by myself and the NELRCC by Dr Simon Walsh (Barts). The fora was attended by LNC representatives across the North Thames LNCs whilst the NELRCC was represented by NE London Trust Consultant reps. I have blogged about the previous meetings . The following notes are an amalgam of the two meetings.
- There is a streamlining of training for new LNC members with completion of on line training followed by two face to face meetings. This should be an agenda item for all staff side LNCs to discuss. Trade Union training is part of Trade Union duties.
- There was a discussion of the difference between Trade Union duties and activities with the IRO supplying a useful document but the meeting emphasised the ACAS document Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities paragraphs 12 and 13 was the most helpful
- The Guardian of Safe Working (GoSW) for Junior Doctors have been established in all Trusts. There was a largevariability in completion of quarterly reports and whether they have been seen by LNCs. The annual reports of GoSW is due. There was discussion of the PA allocation per GOSW per number of trainees with some variation. Problem of one Trust covering many sites with significant travel distance for the GoSW
The various Trust reps highlighted the following points
- Problem with a maternity return to work policy
- Difficulties with new Junior Doctor Contract
- Terms of reference of JDr Forum are not present in all Trusts.
- Guidance in Exception reporting some Trust just refer to the NHSE site, other Trusts the GoSW is developing or has developed a guidance. It was discussed that any guidance should adhere to the phrasing of the JDr contract. Any changes that alter this have to be negotiated with the LNC. Some Trusts have viewed it as a benefit in showing where changes need to be made and improvements made to rotas, others are pressurising JDr not to exception report. Exception reports in each Trust have varied. Their number and frequency were discussed . JDr should not be dissuaded from submitting exception reports. There is a need to share quarterly reports with the forum
- Some Trusts have yet to give their Junior Doctors their contracts
- CEAs have been held in various Trusts though in one Trust they are dealing with year 2014-15. Some variation in the mechanism and guidance on CEAs
- Variability in acceptance of SAS Charter by Trusts
- Some Trusts do not allow SAS Doctors to be appraisers.
- Introduction of electronic Job Planning at some Trusts with significant teething problems. The presence of an “Additional to contract” should not be present and if it is,this is an LNC matter.
- General feeling that Consultaants are not being listened to.
- Job planning described “as a struggle” at one Trust. Job Planning appeals panel list is held by BMA and NHS England and has been of use in several Trusts
- Some Trusts have difficulty with study leave in one case there was evidence that this would be unlawful under the Equality Act and BMA Solicitors are being asked for an opinion.
- Consultants Acting to Preserve Service is a better phrase than Acting Down. These policies are under consideration at a number of Trusts. This was discussed in a number of ways. They should only occur exceptionally and monitored and reviewed. (In one Trust there was a significant use of it because of insufficient doctors on the rota), Consultants act as Consultants not as Juniors and therefore may well not have some practical skills. This may be a MDU/GMC matter if not addressed by Trusts and the document. In the end if it is a safety issue the Department has to close. The remuneration rate has to be punitive to avoid abuse. A minimum is an SpR Locum rate. BMA documents suggest 3PA=1PA. Some Trusts 2PA = 1 PA. If a Consultant On Call Acts down then another Consultant has to be the On Call Consultants. In one Trust the “Acting Down” was described as “a bit of a mess” with severe problems caused by shortages. Three tier rotas have become 2 tier.
- Consultant Contract remains unclear. The IRO gave a review of the most up to date information
- There was a discussion of Consultants and ST3 and above being balloted on any contract offer, which has yet to be tabled. The role of UKCC and BMA Council was discussed
- A new declaration of interest form is to be signed for those on BMA committees. There was a discussion on two particular requests for information
- Changes to the constitution of all LNC that all should be BMA members.. HSCA is only nationally recognised, if locally recognised HCSA would have to gain recognition on JSCs or have their own local negotiating committee.
- In one Trust there is a debacle regarding payslips on all staff not ending up with them through the post.
- One Trust has informed their CCGs of six months notice of withdrawal of provision of a Dermatology Service. Consultations are taking place involving another Trust and/or Private provision on a temporary basis..