Monday, November 30, 2015

Lewisham Support for Junior Doctors

So tomorrow's planned 24 hour strike by Junior Doctors in the NHS has been called off pending further negotiations after health secretary Jeremy Hunt backed down and agreed that he would not unilaterally impose a new contract on them. Junior Doctors and their supporters have been organising at local hospitals, including at Lewisham where banners were all ready to go... and will no doubt be brought out again unless there is some real progress on pay and conditions.

photo from Dr Tony O'Sullivan on twitter

Here's the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign statement on the dispute:

Junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS

The term “junior” is misleading – in fact the majority have
many years experience and constitute the main medical workforce in our hospitals.
They are the doctors who tend to you if you are admitted to hospital day or night, 24/7.

This Government is treating them shabbily. It wants to impose a new contract on them and refuses to negotiate. The doctors reject the new contract— it is both unsafe and unfair.

Unsafe because it removes the safeguards against doctors being forced to work excessively long hours, which will increase risk to patients.

Unfair because for many doctors it will mean pay cuts and/or even longer antisocial hours.

Junior doctors don’t want to strike. They have been given no choice as the Government has refused to listen to them. They want the Government to negotiate without preconditions and to remove the threat of contract imposition. Strike action is a last resort and has been planned so that patients are not harmed, with consultants providing emergency care.

If the junior doctors lose this battle then it will be harder to recruit to specialties like A&E which already suffer a serious shortage of doctors. Those who remain will be working more antisocial hours and be more tired; many will leave the NHS. If the junior doctors lose this battle then the Government will come for the nurses and other NHS staff next.

The junior doctors are now in the front line. They are defending a high quality NHS – one that is run by well-supported staff who are able to give of their best when caring for you. We urge you to support our junior doctors and to support all NHS staff and the future of our NHS'.

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