MP speaks up for family-friendly arrangements for doctors

In the House of Commons, the MP for North East Hertfordshire, Sir Oliver Heald, called for family-friendly arrangements for junior doctors.He questioned the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, about the constraints on the family lives of junior doctors caused by their strenuous training programme, as well as the problems that couples and their families face when they are given placements at large distances from each other.

Sir Oliver Heald asked Mr Hunt, “Does he agree that it is important to look at the training situation, where a couple can be sent to different towns many miles apart; the rostering, which can make family life difficult; and some of the problems of returners to work, whose training perhaps needs to be properly considered?”

The Secretary of State for Health replied that Sir Oliver had been “correct to have raised that before and I can reassure him that we have subsequently started a very big piece of work to look at those exact issues.”

Speaking after the exchange, Sir Oliver said, “I am happy to have been able to impress upon the Secretary of State the ways in which junior doctors feel that their personal lives can suffer, and I am pleased that he will take this issue further. I pay tribute to all the work that junior doctors do for my constituents and across the country.”