latest health care news

29.09.15

Junior doctors protest at Westminster against ‘unsafe’ and ‘unfair’ contracts

Thousands of junior doctors took to Downing Street yesterday (28 September) to protest against the recent government decision to impose a new contract on them despite widespread opposition to its changes.

It is estimated that two to five thousand protesters were outside Westminster Hall last night, just a few hours after NHS Employers postponed all of the meetings it was to hold with junior doctors over contract changes.

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015  4. c. Steve Eason

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015   3. c. Steve Eason

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015   8. c. Steve Eason

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015. c. Steve Eason

The peaceful demonstration held posters campaigning against the potential effects of the new contract – which they argue include unfair pay, unsafe working hours and a wider gender gap.

Others held up banners with lines of ‘Save our NHS’, ‘Tired doctors make mistakes’, ‘Not Safe, not fair’, and ‘Let’s renegotiate’.

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015  8. c. Steve Eason

There were also posters threatening that junior doctors will move abroad if the contract is implemented.

This follows last week’s warning from the BMA that there would be a mass exodus of trainee doctors resulting from the “outpouring of anger” over the government’s actions. The General Medical Council has already been getting almost 30 times more requests from doctors seeking certificates to work abroad than normal.

Not Safe - Not fair protest by doctors, junior doctors and medical students in central London 28th September 2015  6. c. Steve Eason

Yesterday, health secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote to the new chair of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, Dr Johann Malawana, to invite him to a meeting to discuss the proposed changes to their contracts.

As a result, NHS Employers cancelled the string of nationwide meetings it was set to host in an effort to engage with junior doctors about their updated contracts.

Its chief executive, Danny Mortimer, said: “Our preferred position has always been to negotiate with the BMA so we hope that today’s invitation will bring this closer.

“In view of this development, we feel it would be premature to hold our open meetings in which we intended to hear junior doctors’ views. We have postponed all of our meetings with immediate effect, including tonight’s London event at Central Hall, Westminster.”

But the BMA has already said that trainee doctors across England will be balloted over taking industrial action in response to the government’s plans.

The wave of dissent was brought on when NHS Employers said a revised contract would be imposed to all junior doctors regardless of their complaints.

The new contract, which will reclassify their normal working week to include Saturdays and working days up to 10pm, is perceived as a threat to patient and doctor safety.

Junior doctors called the negotiations “unacceptable” and said the contract would remove “vital” safeguards that discourage employers from making them work dangerously long hours.

(All images c. Steve Eason)

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

11/09/2020Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

As part of Organ Donation Week, NHE’s Matt Roberts spoke with our Man... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Improving the quality of end of life care through better planning, support

21/09/2020Improving the quality of end of life care through better planning, support

Judith Richardson, Acting Director for Health and Social Care, NICE Around half a million people die in England each year. With an ageing population, the annual number of... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >