Junior doctors in Wales will receive enhanced expense entitlements when moving home for work.
The change represents the culmination of more than a year’s worth of negotiations between the BMA Welsh Junior Doctors Committee (WJDC), Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership and trainee representatives.
Under the terms of the previous policy, doctors were required to provide quotes from three removal firms when moving home. Reimbursement was restricted to a limited number of trips to visit family and the individual had to provide receipts for all transactions.
The new arrangement will see significant reductions in the amount of red tape and administrative burden involved in the claiming process. It will also include an extension of the time period for making claims and the introduction of a transparent process to account for rejected claims.
Trainees who are relocating and who are first-time buyers will be able to claim for fees associated with buying their property.
Trainees who have relocated temporarily will be entitled to claim travel expenses to visit their permanent home.
The WJDC also secured a commitment to a further review of the policy by August next year, with a view to increasing the annual allowance and allowing the rollover of unused funds from previous training years.
WJDC chair Josie Cheetham welcomed the new deal, saying the WJDC firmly believes that junior doctors in Wales should not have to incur any financial ramifications from relocation requirements necessary to complete training.
“We are pleased that HEIW recognises this, and that this revised policy reduces the burdens on junior doctors faced with relocating,” she said.