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Doctors: Housing

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when decisions on changes to the arrangements for accommodation for junior doctors were made. (164573)

The arrangements for accommodation of junior doctors changed as a result of changes in training for doctors in foundation year 1, brought about through modernising medical careers. The change means there is no longer a need for these doctors to be resident on hospital sites.

Changes to the Medical Act 1983 were made following consultation, which ended in January 2006. The Department consulted extensively on the changes to the Act between 1 October 2005 and 31 January 2006 and the legislation went through Parliament in July 2006. We have implemented the provisions at the first opportunity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Medical Act 1983 (Approved Medical Practices and Conditions of Residence) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 2413) applies to foundation year (a) 1 and (b) 2 junior doctors. (164582)

The Medical Act 1983 (Approved Medical Practices and Conditions of Residence) Regulations 2005 lapsed from 1 August 2007. Therefore, the 2005 Regulations are no longer in force.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has given to NHS trusts on charging junior doctors for hospital-owned accommodation. (164583)

Guidance already exists within the terms and conditions of employment for junior doctors on the application of charges for accommodation provided through hospital channels. It was not considered necessary to issue further guidance for doctors already covered by existing contractual provisions as the change to the Medical Act did not alter their situation in respect of tax or rental charges.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consultation he has had with junior doctors on the removal of the statutory responsibility of trusts to require junior doctors to reside on site. (164587)

The Medical Act 1983 made it a requirement of provisional registration with the General Medical Council for junior doctors to live in accommodation supplied by the hospital or conveniently nearby to where he was employed. The Department held meetings on the provision of accommodation with the Junior Doctors Committee in March 2004, August 2004 and March 2005 prior to the consultation on the changes to the law between October 2005 and January 2006.