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Would you support the doctors' strike.

(714 Posts)
whitewave Fri 06-Nov-15 10:21:45

Doctors have been told that Hunt is only prepared to negotiate on 1 out of 23 points of the new contract. The new rota system only allows for "home time" as being after 10pm and Sunday's.

Junior doctors will have to work more hours than they do now and are exhausted how so how safe will we be?

I support them

thatbags Sat 07-Nov-15 07:11:37

Like others, I do not feel sufficiently knowledgeable about junior doctor contracts (actually, I'll revise that to I am completely ignorant about junior doctor contracts, just as I'm completely ignorant of most all work contracts that haven't been my own) but I feel that what the government publication about it says is not unreasonable (shortened hours and a reduced number of long shifts, for instance). Therefore, I remain neutral on the issue until further enlightenment.

If a junior doctor can't gain enough professional experience except by working ridiculous, family unfriendly hours, then there's something wrong with the system.

Ever since before my brother trained and qualified as a doctor (he has now retired) there has been talk of a shortage of doctors. Seems we need to fix that for a start.

As usual, it's not a simple black and white issue with one view being completely right and the other completely wrong.

Leticia Sat 07-Nov-15 07:37:36

I support them. The fact that they think the situation bad enough to strike tells me that the new contract can't be a good thing. They will vote with their feet. I have always thought their hours were silly in the past.

JessM Sat 07-Nov-15 08:34:12

I support them too. They do a very responsible job and get paid a similar rate to a supervisor in an office who goes home at 5.30 and has every weekend off.
It is a long hard road to get to consultant level. They get moved around every year. Even when you are a registrar you get moved to a new hospital every year, (around your region e.g. the whole of Yorkshire). It is difficult for them to have any kind of social life or personal life.
This is an unnecessary battle. Statistics show that certain groups of patients are more likely to die at weekends. The reasons for this are complex and include the fact that there are more emergencies at weekends. Or that there are fewer consultants in the hospitals at weekends.
Hunt and Cameron cooked up the idea that all hospitals should be offering a 24/7 service to respond to this. It appeared to be electioneering craziness - but now that they have won the election (which they did not expect to do) Hunt is going full tilt into this change of pay to junior doctors. Like a lot of ministries they are hurtling into "reforms" as quickly as they can, before a few by-elections or defections start to nibble into their majority.
A change to doctors contracts may have many unforeseen and unwanted consequences e.g. doctors working longer hours and making more mistakes, more of our doctors going to Australia where they will get paid more.
The doctors should stand up to Hunt and we should support them.

petra Sat 07-Nov-15 09:42:58

I don't need to read their new contract. I just know that if Hunt is involved none of it will be to our benefit.

Jane10 Sat 07-Nov-15 09:49:49

People get ill or have accidents on a 24/7 basis. I've never understood why NHS seemed to work to a 5 day week.
I think the new plans are probably reasonable as a step on the way to a more up to day way of working but it also needs many more Drs and other staff to sustain the planned new system. As we are all potential patients its in all our interests to get on with this.

Lilygran Sat 07-Nov-15 10:05:14

They aren't proposing to shorten hours, as I understand it, they are proposing to redefine what constitutes normal working hours so that junior doctors who work unsocial hours or over their scheduled shift won't get paid in recognition. This has nothing to do with increased productivity or fairer contracts. It is a strategy designed to bring a large group of highly intelligent and highly skilled state employees under control. One aspect of this is to alienate public opinion by suggesting they are being irresponsible by taking industrial action.

janeainsworth Sat 07-Nov-15 11:36:33

jane10 Have you ever been in a hospital at the weekend?
Search 'Im in work Jeremy' (sic) on Facebook and you will get some idea of the conditions under which the junior doctors work.
The problem with the NHS is that it is a monopsony - a single employer employing most of the workforce of a given sector.
This isn't good for employees or consumers.

Luckygirl Sat 07-Nov-15 11:45:05

I hope that people did not read into my post that I would wish the sort of punishing long hours my OH did to apply to the current generation of junior doctors.

I think that this new contract is devious and misleading, and I am not surprised that there is protest.

Jane10 Sat 07-Nov-15 13:11:32

Of course I've been in hospital at the weekend! That's exactly why we need to modernise the system. Shorter hours for junior Drs will, of necessity, need more Drs. Its because they're so stretched at the moment that 24/7 working isn't efficiently feasible at present. So respect Drs education and commitment, shorten their hours and train and recruit more of them. Simples! If only....

Anniebach Sat 07-Nov-15 13:26:51

We are losing doctors, we have to recruit from other countries so how can the numbers be increased !

Eloethan Sat 07-Nov-15 13:46:38

janeainsworth What non-monopolistic system do you think would be better?

Gaggi3 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:13:50

I give thanks every day for the NHS. Having had my life saved by the amazing skill and dedication of doctors and nurses, and having had my quality of life improved, I cannot praise it highly enough. Doctors don't take industrial action lightly and I support them totally in their bid to safeguard the NHS. I believe the government wants to change the system radically and privatise it, a disastrously destructive move, in my opinion.

caocao Sat 07-Nov-15 14:21:02

I would support them taking action - I do have to declare an interest as my son is a medical student. One of the proposals is that the maximum hours that can be worked in a week is to be reduced from 91 to 72 hours. Sounds like a positive step, but there is a big BUT. At the moment if doctors work more than 91 hours then the hospital trust faces a monetary penalty, under the new contract there is no penalty if hours exceeded. Mind you I have heard that at present doctors are leaned on to falsify their time sheets and declare less hours.
The BBC have really annoyed me by constantly referring to overtime payments, which the doctors don't get! They are paid a salary which is made up of two parts - a base salary for their grade and the second component is in respect of how many of their working hours fall in "unsociable hours". A cut in the times denoted "unsociable" = cut in salary.
Hunt said that by imposing this pay cut it would mean that hospitals would not "be forced into rotaring less doctors on at the weekend"! Well if we are going to have the same number of doctors, who are not going to work as many hours as before this just means we'll have insufficient doctors on duty during the week. It is also worth remembering that "junior doctors" are all doctors who are not consultants, so these salary cuts will affect experienced doctors in their 30's and 40's with mortgages to pay and families to support.

janeainsworth Sat 07-Nov-15 14:22:50

I have no idea, eloethan.
I was simply pointing out that it was a problem. When any employer knows that employees have little choice over who they work for, that potentially leads to exploitation.
I think the NHS has exploited its workers for years, especially since it has become target driven.

durhamjen Sat 07-Nov-15 14:25:20

Full fact's take on the dispute. It was written in September, but nothing much has changed since then.

durhamjen Sat 07-Nov-15 15:00:00

This is a very long letter in the Huffington Post from a junior doctor, explaining what she thinks about Hunt's offer, which was given to the media before the BMA. Not a good idea.

Eloethan Sat 07-Nov-15 18:39:15

jane They do have a choice - they can work in the private sector or they can do agency work.

I think you will find that staff who were originally employed by the NHS but who have now been hived off to the private sector get far worse pay and working conditions.

Admittedly that might be different for doctors because they take a lot of time and money to train - but I suspect other professional and support staff would fare much worse - or they would be find themselves unable to resist the lure of those companies that put profit above any other consideration. There will, of course, always be those doctors who would rub their hands with glee at the thought of the rich pickings that privatisation might offer but I think most doctors genuinely believe in the NHS and don't want to see it ruined.

trisher Sat 07-Nov-15 18:42:10

I support the doctors. Their starting salary is ludicrous. Also this is Jeremy Hunt doing the re-organising if it has the same effect as the setting up of the CCGs it will be absolute chaos.

rosequartz Sat 07-Nov-15 19:12:50

What is forgotten is that a junior doctor is often in his 30s or 40s

Often? If a doctor is still a junior in his/her 40s then that means they either started training later than usual or they have not been considered fit for promotion.

DGodD whom I mentioned in a previous post became a consultant before her mid-30s as did her husband.

janeainsworth Sat 07-Nov-15 20:01:37

eloethan doctors have to do foundation training in the NHS as junior doctors (equivalent of the old house officer grades) before they can get full registration with the GMC. Without this, they can't work anywhere.
They then have to follow recognised training pathways within the NHS before they can become consultants.

Annie29 Sat 07-Nov-15 20:18:00

I support them 100%.

farmor51 Sat 07-Nov-15 21:35:20

After a routine operation a few months ago, instead of going home the same day I ended up staying in the hospital over the weekend. I had excellent care. My GP surgery is open 5 days and half day Saturday, but there are a couple of walkins in the area if you can't wait till Monday. For absolute emergencies there is A&E. Sometimes I think people expect too much from the NHS. Doctors are humans and need as much or more rest as the rest of us. They are intelligent, dedicated people who have spent years training so that they can care for the rest of us, and if they feel that the only thing left for them to do is to strike, I will trust their judgement and support them. Doctors used to be treated with respect, but that is unfortunately no longer the case. Same with teachers.

rosequartz Sat 07-Nov-15 23:42:42

Many areas don't have such things as walk-ins, they probably only operate in larger towns and cities.

I would agree that sometimes people expect too much from the NHS but then again people can't plan to be ill or need care on Mondays to Fridays, sometimes they fall ill or are in hospital at weekends as well and adequate cover is needed.

A lot of jobs and professions entail working evenings, nights and weekends and people know that when they choose that career path. Doctors are not alone in this.
Doctors should know that they will be required to work unsocial hours - but they should not be required to work so many hours that they cannot do their jobs properly because of tiredness.

biddy73 Sun 08-Nov-15 10:42:12

No they know the set up and this was there choice , I do think there senior doctor take advantage but still no

Lynnabelle Sun 08-Nov-15 10:55:45

There is a misconception which is perpetuated by the govt and press that we do not have a 24/7 NHS. Hospitals work on 2 level, the standard, routine 5/6 day per week work, with the emergency work happening alongside this. During the 'normal' working week the hospital is fully staffed dealing with routine, scheduled work, I.e appointments, surgeries, routine tests etc. Every day and night, including weekends there are staff working in the emergency departments and there are 'on call' doctors, etc throughout the hospital to deal with emergencies. If you are rushed into hospital as an emergency at any time of the day or night you will be dealt with by a team of emergency specialists who will be able to call on other specialities as required. There will be an on call team for other specialities, cardiac, surgical, orthopaedic etc. this will be the ' junior' doctors, which will include a senior registrar who is only one step away from being a consultant. They will have an on call room to sleep in if the are not too busy to sleep! There will also be a consultant on call on each team. He or she may be at home but a stipulation of their contract will be that they have to live less than half an hour away from the hospital. If you need any urgent tests doing there will be an call person available ( x/Rays, scans etc).
Whilst the NHS is by no means perfect it is a lot better than the govt and press would have us believe.