Friday, 2 September 2016

The Doctors Strike and what you should know

The BMA must be the first union in history to call for strike action against a deal they themselves negotiated and said was a good one!

In fact the current chair of the JDC, Ellen McCourt, who called these strikes, co-led negotiations for the BMA when agreement was reached in May – and recommended the revised contract to members as ‘beneficial to our patients and to our junior doctors’.

The Government has been speaking to the BMA for three years and have made 107 different concessions. The Government is prepared to talk with the BMA about how we can call off the strike.

As doctors’ representatives, the BMA should be putting patients first, not playing politics in a way that will be immensely damaging for vulnerable patients.

Whilst there are many pressures on the frontline, funding is at record levels, with the highest number of doctors employed in the history of the NHS. Co-operation not confrontation is the way forward to make sure patients get the best treatment and the NHS is there for people whenever they need it.

The new contract is:

* Better for patients – who will have access to a great and improving service 7 days a week. These changes are the most significant change to the contract in seventeen years. The changes ensure the NHS is shaped around the needs of patients who can’t choose what day of the week they fall unwell.

* Better for junior doctors – guaranteeing better training, safety and working conditions. Junior doctors working legal hours will receive a basic pay rise of around 10 to 11 %, subject to modelling. New limits on hours worked, consecutive nights and long days will also be introduced. A new family support plan will help balance home and work and offer catch-up programmes.

* Better for the NHS – linking pay progression to attainment, tackles locum costs and scraps unsafe incentives for long hours. There will be a fundamental shift in the way doctors are paid for weekend work so it is a third less expensive for hospitals to roster doctors over the weekend. By introducing Saturday and Sundays plain time rates and a sliding scale replacing unsocial hour payments high standards of care will be enabled at an affordable rate.

We are absolutely certain this is the right way forward but I fear the BMA are on a one way street with an agenda to bring down the govt written on the side of their Bandwagon.

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