Junior Doctors – Update

May 3, 2016 at 11:25 am / by

Junior Doctors

The latest round of Junior Doctors’ strikes were the result of Jeremy Hunt’s unforgivable contempt for our medical professionals.

Rather than negotiate a contract that is both safe for patients and fair for the doctors, he has decided to impose his own terms. By doing so, he has sent the message to our doctors that he does not trust them to know what is right for their patients.

It is all too easy to blame those going on strike for the disruption and the additional uncertainty. However, to do so would be to ignore their frequent requests to return to negotiations.

When I invited dozens of Junior Doctors to Parliament last year, they told me that striking was a deeply regrettable last resort.

Only last Sunday, Jeremy Hunt could have prevented the strikes by engaging with a cross-party initiative to end the dispute. The initiative suggested for the terms of the contract to be trialled at certain NHS trusts before being rolled out nationally. This would allow NHS doctors and management to see whether it was viable. Jeremy Hunt rejected this, and as a result, we see emergency care being withdrawn for the first time in the organisation’s history.

My recent time in the Royal Free has allowed me to experience our doctors’ dedication first-hand. They deserve much more than the contempt of a second-rate Health Secretary.