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Hospital chief executives against junior doctor contract imposition

Half the 20 chief executives that co-signed Dalton’s letter deny support for contract imposition

Ingrid Torjesen

Friday, 12 February 2016

At least half of the 20 top hospital chief executives listed on Sir David Dalton’s letter to Jeremy Hunt advising the government to do “whatever it deems necessary” after the British Medical Association rejected a final offer have said that they did not sign up to supporting imposition of a new contract for junior doctors.

The HSJ contacted chief executives listed on the letter.

Central North West London Foundation Trust chief executive Claire Murdoch issued a statement saying: “I have told NHS Employers to remove my name and they have done so.”

She said: “I was very unhappy to see my name added to an endorsement of the final offer from NHS Employers. As whether it was ‘fair and reasonable’ was exactly what I’d asked.”

Andrew Foster, chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said on Twitter: “The letter we supported was different to that published today.” He posted an image of the actual statement agreed and who had signed up to it.

He said: “I have not supported contract imposition. I have supported the view that the offer made is reasonable.”

West Suffolk FT chief executive Stephen Dunn said on Twitter he was “not supporting imposition” by signing the letter, but rather the view that the offer was an improvement on the original.

St George’s chief executive Miles Scott said on Twitter: “To be clear, I supported the contract offer but not imposition.”

Milton Keynes University Hospital FT’s Joe Harrison commented: “This is the same as my position.”

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust chief executive Peter Homa said on Twitter: “I view the offer as safe, fair & reasonable but don’t support imposition.”

David Sloman, chief executive of the Royal Free London FT, told HSJ: “I do believe that the contract offered is reasonable however I do not support contract imposition. My view is that the best way to reach resolution is negotiation.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Sir Andrew Cash, the Royal Wolverhampton Trust’s David Loughton and Leicestershire Partnership Trust’s Peter Miller, also told HSJ that that they do not support the government's decision to impose a new doctors' contract.

Two signatories declined to give their explicit support for imposition when asked. These were: University Hospitals of Leicester Trust’s John Adler; and Heather Tierney-Moore of Lancashire Care FT.

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