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New Legal Protections for Junior Doctors

British Medical Association (BMA) has secured a new legal protections for junior doctors acting as whistleblowers. Junior doctors can now raise concerns about patient security or other concerns related to their working lives without being afraid of risking their careers.

Health Education England (HEE), the body liable for training junior doctors will place a provision in junior doctors contracts, which lets them take the health organisations to the court without worrying about any harmful effects on their careers.  

Ellen McCourt, BMA junior doctors committee chair has addressed the new legal protection as a ‘significant win’ of junior doctors. The issue of legal protection was raised with the Health Secretary as a main concern among junior doctors. Additional issues at the meeting of McCourt with the health secretary includes safeguarding working hours, less-than full-time wage, respecting weekend employer and whistleblowing.

According to Dr McCourt, the new legal protections will make sure that junior doctors have complete lawful security when speaking about their concern. Many junior doctors feels the lack of strong whistleblowing securities in the Government’s proposed contract which has let to a main patient security concern.

The new protections will close current loophole, which means HEE will no longer have any lawful responsibility for whistleblowers because in the UK law HEE was not considered as an employer.

Dr McCourt said that it is very important that junior doctors are able to report their worry without feeling like they are laying their career at danger. Closing the loophole will make sure that junior doctors will be able to create secure revelations to defend patient safety with complete legal protection.

Professor Wendy Reid, HEE Medical Director said that they have always supported doctors in training to express anxieties about patient safety. Though, HEE is not an employer of junior doctors, but also HEE understand that they have a significant effect over junior doctors careers.

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