New arrangements for the payment of relocation and expenses for junior doctors which will apply nationally, have come into force Health Education England (HEE) has announced today. The arrangements took effect on 1 November and apply to all new starters from August 2020.
The single framework will replace a wide range of different arrangements and funding allocations which currently exist across the country. Under the new national framework trainees will be able to claim up to £10,000 to cover relocation and excess mileage costs over the duration of their postgraduate training which will be fully funded by HEE. Relocation and expenses costs are available to overseas nationals who have accepted training programmes from the port of entry.
HEE has worked closely with the British Medical Association (BMA) and other stakeholders on the new national framework which aim to provide a consistent approach to support all trainees across the country who face the financial costs of moving house to take up training, and/or may be financially disadvantaged as a result of their training programme covering a large geographical area.
Professor Wendy Reid, Executive Medical Director and Director of Education and Quality said:
“ I am very grateful to BMA colleagues and all our stakeholders for their help and support in finalising these new funding arrangements. This is a major step forward for consistency in relocation expenses as it will be applied across all regions. This means that every trainee can expect to be treated the same no matter where they are working. It has built in some flexibility to account for different trainee needs.”
BMA junior doctors committee chair Sarah Hallett said:
"This is a comprehensive series of improvements to relocation expenses, excess mileage, and other costs that junior doctors in England face as part of their training. We worked with Health Education England to improve upon the initial proposals, in particular to address pre-existing equalities and access issues from predecessor policies. The JDC consulted its regional representatives, and, with their insight, we believe there are now considerable benefits for junior doctors.
The additional allowance available after eight years in training ensures a more equitable approach for trainees who spend longer periods of time in training programmes. It’s also really positive that those who transfer between deaneries will be able to access expenses for the first time. This introduces consistency for trainees, but also flexibility for those who have particular requirements. We are grateful to Health Education England for addressing the issues we have highlighted, and for constructively working with us in order to resolve them."
Local Employers will be responsible for administering claims made by trainees and then recharging Health Education England as required. Implementation dates may vary by region and individual employing Trust depending upon IT systems and other organisational pressures but all claims will be paid and backdated to November 2020.
Consultation on regional implementation of the new framework for existing trainees (i.e trainees who commenced in training programmes before 1 August 2020) will take place over the coming weeks and months with implementation dates to be agreed as appropriate with HEE Regional Offices.
This work forms part of HEE’s Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives (EJDWL) programme. HEE has worked with professional representatives to develop recruitment initiatives that help doctors to secure placements close to their existing support network and personal commitments.
For more information on the new arrangements visit: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/doctors-training/enhancing-working-lives/funding-arrangements-payment-relocation-expenses