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BMA calls for travel and relocation expenses for all junior doctors

Foundation programme doctors missing out due to shortness of placement contracts

OnMedica Staff

Wednesday, 03 December 2008

The BMA’s Scottish Junior Doctors Committee has criticised the decision of NHS Scotland Employers not to provide travel and relocation expenses to all training grade doctors.

Following a recent agreement speciality trainees, who make up the majority of junior doctors, can claim travel and relocation expenses, as they move around for various work placements. However, doctors who are just starting out in their NHS careers and are in the two-year foundation programme cannot.

Doctors on the two-year foundation programme are not eligible to claim expenses and relocation costs because they are employed on short-term contracts of just four to six months for each of their training rotations rather than on a longer contact. As a result the BMA is calling for employment contracts to last for the duration of the two-year programme and for travel and relocation expenses to be available to all junior doctors.

Dr Alan Robertson, chair of the BMA’s Scottish Junior Doctors Committee, said: “The agreement creates two tiers of junior doctors where specialty trainees are entitled to claim for travel and relocation costs incurred during rotations between NHS sites across Scotland but first and second year junior doctors are not.

“All of Scotland’s junior doctors deserve a fair deal and I call on NHS employers to reinstate free hospital accommodation for FHO1 doctors and extend travel and relocation expenses to cover all junior doctors.  

“If they fail to do so, the Scottish government must compensate doctors for these additional costs. It would also be more sensible for junior doctors to be employed on contracts that reflected the length of their training programmes, rather than placements within the programmes."

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