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Friday 28 October 2016
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Deal reached on junior doctor contract dispute

A deal has been struck between junior doctor leaders and Jeremy Hunt following 10 days of contract negotiations

A deal has been struck between junior doctor leaders and Jeremy Hunt following 10 days of contract negotiations.

The new contract, which was agreed during talks overseen by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), will now be put to a referendum to secure the support of the British Medical Associations (BMA) members.

Both the government negotiators and BMA leadership will communicate all the details of the new contract to BMA members over the next two weeks before voting.

If approved by the referendum, some elements of the new contract will be implemented in August this year.

All junior doctors will adopt the new terms between October 2016 and August 2017, if they are accepted.

Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: "Following intense but constructive talks, we are pleased to have reached agreement.

"Junior doctors have always wanted to agree a safe and fair contract, one that recognises and values the contribution junior doctors make to the NHS, addresses the recruitment and retention crisis in parts of the NHS and provides the basis for delivering a world-class health service.

"I believe that what has been agreed today delivers on these principles, is a good deal for junior doctors and will ensure that they can continue to deliver high-quality care for patients. This represents the best and final way of resolving the dispute and this is what I will be saying to junior doctors in the weeks leading up to the referendum on the new contract."

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We welcome this significant agreement which delivers important changes to the junior doctors' contract necessary to deliver a safer seven day NHS.

"The talks have been constructive and positive and highlighted many areas outside the contract where further work is necessary to value the vital role of junior doctors and improve the training and support they are given. This deal represents a definitive step forward for patients, for doctors, and for the NHS as a whole."