The Consultants Committee Meeting was held at 10 am on Thursday 3 March 2016 at BMA House Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP

The purpose of this CC meeting was

  • to update the committee on the current status of work regarding the consultant contract.
  • To receive an update regarding the ongoing trade dispute between junior doctors and the Department of Health.
  • To confirm and adopt the motions passed at the Consultants Conference
  • To consider recent developments with Shape of Training

An update was given by representatives of  the Scottish Consultants Committee, the Welsh Consultant Committee  and the Northern Ireland Consultants Committee. There were discussions about how the devolved governments might proceed after anything might happen in England. It was pointed out that NI representatives did not want separate negotiation. NI has not had CEA for a number of years. As part of communicating to the BMA membership there have been a number of roadshows and a recent LNC Chair meeting.  Dr Mark Porter gave his view of the current situation. Dr Rob Harwood one of the BMA negotiators gave a view of the current position. He brought it to the attention of CC that BMA negotiators had met again with NHS Employers The CC asked if this meant that BMA and NHS Employers where again in negotiation and he agreed that the BMA was back in formal negotiations. There were discussions regarding what has yet to be brought forward as the “final offer” from NHS Employers. There are current negotiations as to whether 5 or 6 year is the transition date for “salary uplift” depending on the new consultants salary level. The status of CEA protection or not is still not decided.  There is legal debate about equal pay and Equality Legislation. It is known that about 1000 consultants are appointed a year. In the event on imposition of a contract for new consultants only this would take some years for HMG to deliver their “7DyS”

Transition funding is an area that has not been decided or agreed. The BMA estimates £280 million over 4 years whilst the DoH  says £230 million. Interestingly  the Doh put forward the idea “well this could be funded by the Trusts!” It was pointed out that the tables supplied for discussion at the roadshows where difficult to interpret.

There was a discussion that if the “gateway” is at year 6 this is in variance of revalidation. The CC accepted that revalidation and the gateway even if it coincided is a separate issue. It was said that the government has set another deadline for negotiations to end yat the end of March. CC’s view is that HMG wishes to finish this before the lead up to the EU referendum.

There was a discussion from ED representatives with a degree of anxious regarding loss of S3P6 without proper safeguards. There was also a discussion regarding the proposed banding system where there was a potential for abuse by employers were 5 hrs may progress to 8 hrs without increase in remuneration. There were concerns raised regarding those on 10 PA but may be working out of normal time eg 36 hrs. These may have to work longer hours or have a pay cut if normal time was until 9pm and included Saturdays.

There was a discussion around What if ?

What if the contract is rejected?

If it is a variation on contract and imposed on new Consultants what if then?

There was a discussion of the out of hours supplement and the variations between on call that is intense and not intense. There was a discussion of what it will appear to the general public. It was discussed that the variation in prime time for Saturday was in variance to what the Junior Doctors have been offered.

The shape of training was discussed by Philip de Warren . It was noted that the BMA remains against the move of registration to the end of Medical School.. The Royal Colleges see this as a red herring. The health minister has a different view.

Enhancing and supporting specialty leads on UK-CC was discussed. UK-CC discussed that it was important that LNC Chairs were in close discussion with the Chief Executives.

There was concern about a recent letter from HEE regarding removal of training posts if Trusts did not introduce the new Junior Doctor Contract. There was concern from UK-CC regarding sufficient cover. It was noted that consultants in trusts were being asked to use SPA time as DCC. The BMA advice is what is appropriate and what is not appropriate and “reasonable request” Detailed advice was sent out in October 2016 by the BMA

There was a debate of what might happen if the final offer is rejected by the “survey” of members.

Needless to say their were a number of discussions that it would not be appropriate to divulge, though I will be sharing hem with the rest of the Staff side LNC.