Image: Junior doctors picket line. Rights: Roger Blackwell/Flickr.
1. The government has misrepresented data and continues to lie about the 7-day NHS. A 7-day, 24-hour emergency NHS already exists. Our staffing levels are already at the brink. We will damage care if we stretch 5 days of elective (non-emergency services) into 7 days. We need more funding, more doctors, more nurses, more porters, more lab staff and other healthcare professionals.
2. The safeguards built into this new contract are inadequate. There is a financial incentive for hospitals to overwork already tired doctors, as it is cheaper to do this and pay fines than hire extra staff (locums) to cover the large staffing gaps which currently exist in our hospitals. This is leading to burn out and doctors leaving the NHS.
3. The government are not being truthful when they say doctors are getting a pay rise of 13.5%. They are not. Most hospital (non-consultant) doctors who do any out of hours on-calls will lose out between 10-20 %. Working more unsocial hours and getting a pay cut is demoralising for anyone. Please remember that Juniors are trainee doctors and do not get paid as much as the consultants.
4. The gaps in the rota for doctors and nurses are reaching dangerous levels. Doctors and nurses are being asked to do more and more every day because the government are not employing more staff. Frequently on a night shift a doctor is being asked to do the work of three doctors and also being asked to act as a more senior doctor. This is dangerous and puts our loved ones at risk.
5. Striking Junior Doctors are defending a high-quality NHS – an NHS run by well-supported staff who are able to give of their best when caring for you. The Government will attack the jobs of other NHS staff next: underfunding core NHS services and privatising lucrative areas.
Join many other NHS campaigners showing their support for junior doctors on their picket line, you can find your nearest one here (scroll down).