BMA accuses government of trying to renege on deal to improve hospital accommodation

30 May 02
Rising costs are behind a government attempt to renege on a two-year-old deal to improve hospital accommodation for junior doctors, the British Medical Association claimed this week.

31 May 2002

Junior doctors' leaders said the Department of Health was trying to alter the agreement so that minimum standards would apply only to on-call rooms rather than to all hospital residences.

Roger Currie, BMA junior doctors' committee deputy chair, said the move followed pressure from trusts concerned about the costs of meeting and maintaining the standards.

The standards, which include properly functioning heating and lighting, adequate room furniture and washing facilities, were needed to safeguard doctors' living conditions, he said.

'These standards sought to eradicate the disgraceful living conditions provided by some hospitals.

'Losing vital safeguards makes a mockery of the government's commitment to "improving the working lives of NHS staff" and signals the beginning of a rapid deterioration in hospital living conditions,' he added.

The department said the matter was the subject of ongoing discussions with the association.


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