Five reasons to support the junior doctors

As junior doctors start another 2-day strike, NHS campaigners explain why they support them. It's about truth, safety, and the future of our NHS. Get down to a picket line today!

Keep Our
6 April 2016
junior doctors picket line.jpg

Image: Junior doctors picket line. Rights: Roger Blackwell/Flickr.

1The 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. 

2The 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. 

3The 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).

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Boris Johnson's government stands accused of 'COVID cronyism', after handing out staggering sums of money to controversial private firms to fight COVID-19. Often the terms of these deals are kept secret, with no value-for-money checks or penalties for repeated failures which cost lives. And many major contracts have gone directly to key Tory donors and allies – without competition.

As COVID rates across the country surge, how can we hold our leaders accountable? Meet the lawyers, journalists and politicians leading the charge in our free live discussion on Thursday 1 October at 5pm UK time.

Hear from:

Dawn Butler Labour MP for Brent Central and member of the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology

Peter Geoghegan Investigations editor, openDemocracy, and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Jolyon Maugham Barrister and founder of the Good Law Project.

Peter Smith Procurement expert and author of 'Bad Buying: How Organisations Waste Billions through Failures, Frauds and F*ck-ups'

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy

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