Hunt is setting himself against the most essential element of our health organisation: its people. They are on the edge, and they deserve nothing but respect.
Junior doctors work long hours and these proposals will remove the safety limits that ensure doctors are not over tired. Being fatigued and stressed impairs judgement and increases the chances of mistakes. Would you want a tired and over worked doctor making life and death decisions about you or your family? Neither would we!
You broke my heart today. You didn't realise. We were playing together, sat on the floor with your little sister, you holding one of your Elsa dolls. You turned to me and said "Mummy, when I grow up I want to be a doctor". I asked you why, and you said "So I could go to work with you Mummy, then I would see you more". That was the moment.
Jeremy Hunt needs to withdraw the threat of contract imposition, and re-engage in a dialogue with the BMA. He must give an assurance to the BMA that talks will be meaningful, that he is prepared to compromise and that he will put forward a better deal that won't put patients at risk. Now is not the time for high-handed demands which are neither fair nor safe.
This contract change is not only unjustified, but also plain and simply wrong. Goodwill is the oil that lubricates the NHS machine, and junior doctors its fuel. Both are at risk of quickly becoming in short supply.
Every day, I face the obstacle of my own mind. Every day, I face the hurdles of dual-postcode living. Every day, students up and down the country face the same challenges. They meet barrier after barrier to mental health treatment, with the dawning realisation that their mind is not the only traffic light; they see red on every road they follow.
Your safety is being put at risk. My greatest fear is that nothing changes, the NHS slowly crumbles, stretching more and more, doctors too tired to concentrate, patient care suffering, safety put at risk. You as a patient know this from your experiences every day. If the NHS is going to survive for the future, all of us - patients, public, professionals and politicians, need to accept that it isn't working. We need an honest discussion about its future. We need to start talking.
I was politically ambivalent about the general election. Like a lot of NHS staff, I was torn between knowing that things were bad in the health service, especially in general practice, but equally knowing that a change of government would inevitably mean some sort of re-branding, reorganisation and changes of priorities. I knew an NHS on its knees already wouldn't cope with that. When the result came in, it was going to be more of the same. No massive changes, just slogging on trying to get the government to listen. I was totally wrong.
While Cameron may pacify us that there will be no switch to an insurance-based model (although he wants to "turn the NHS into a fantastic business"), ...
What do the next five years hold for the NHS? The pre-election jamboree is quickly evaporating. The promise of billions more in funding now feels like a distant sound-bite. The Daily Telegraph recently set the tone with a front page headline in which Jeremy Hunt declared that the NHS now has enough money and will have to make do. However, all the talk on funding in the election debates completely missed the point.
Around 7,500 nurses from the EU registered to work in the UK last year. This is an increase on the previous year, which was an increase on the year before that. Overseas nurses have played a vital role in the NHS since its inception, and will continue to do so, but clearly when trusts are relying more and more on this form of recruitment something is going wrong.
A truly seven day NHS is something we should aspire towards. I don't disagree with that. But as with everything else, it is the timescale and funding which is wholly unrealistic and will inevitably lead to harm to patients. Can he not remember the waiting time breaches of last winter? Is he ignoring the GP practices closing across the country? This is not doctors wanting a lifestyle choice. Our first role is to act in our patients best interests, as an advocate for them. Why does Mr Hunt refuse to listen to the profession, both at national and grass roots level? Why is he hell bent on chasing headlines and not on improving care and patient safety?
The "one-size fits all" world of Mr Hunt's metropolitan life, with seven-day access to a GP or nurse you've never met, to treat the minor self-limiting illness that has been irritating you since that morning, will not help these patients. They need to see professionals who are experienced, highly skilled, with the time and resources to care for them.
Now the Independent Living Fund has closed, I would be foolish if I did not say I was not a little nervous about the future of my support, but I have and will always be nervous about any assessment, because they all have an element of uncertainty even when there is little to worry about. I also understand any change leads to concern, and it is important to stay calm, and stick with the facts, as no news is good news.
Thousands of nurses have left their homes and moved to the other side of the world, to work for the NHS in hospitals, our emergency departments and in our care homes. For the vast majority, their starting salary will be about £21,000 a year. Without them many health and social care organisations would struggle to deliver safe care. Their reward for this contribution to our health service? If they don't somehow increase their salary to £35,000 they will be forced to leave the country after six years.
This kind of language, pillorying the very people working hard to maintain a safe service, is bad enough when it appears in a shoddy piece of journalism, but should simply be beneath a secretary of state. I know I am not the only one who reacted in this way. A great many midwives and people working in and around our profession have been in touch to express similar thoughts.