We in the medical profession have spilt a lot of ink and bile in our outrage over the government's half-baked plans to create a '7 day NHS'. We've been upset that a chronically overstretched work force is about to be stretched even further to satisfy a manifesto sound bite, and we've been upset by our final transition from professional worker to consumer commodity. But we've missed the bigger picture. We are just unwilling pawns in a bigger game.
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.
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.
You're an intelligent, highly trained human being with a strong desire to help people - and that makes you incredibly valuable in a whole range of careers.
Skiing for my country during the Sochi Paralympic Games was one of the proudest moments of my life, but it is not an opportunity I would have had were it for experiencing one of the most frightening experiences a person can go through - losing your sight...
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.
Abortion Rights has seen an increase in reports from the general public of anti-choice activity outside abortion clinics and health facilities that provide abortions. Women and staff have increasingly been facing harassment by anti-choice activists who have been intimidating staff and patients by using various tactics.
I am going to reel off some names here and I wonder if you know what connects them all: Steve Jobs, Jack Benny, Patrick Swayze, Bill Hicks, Luciano P...
To hear Jeremy Hunt tell it, there's nothing but good news for the NHS these days. Last week we were invited to look forward to a future health service where the nurses take Zumba classes and the patients update their own medical records via FitBit. Just like the frequently promised, never delivered "seven day NHS", it's not immediately clear what any of this is actually supposed to achieve beyond a couple of days' worth of headlines. The real news in recent days, although the headlines might have missed it, tells a different story.
Maybe there really is just a sense of futility about the whole thing. Maybe it would be easier to sit back and let the powers that be take control and dismantle our health service, transforming it into whatever they feel is the best for the British public. My issue with this argument is that it is not for the government to decide for us. As many of the fantastic speakers at Crash Call reminded us, this is OUR NHS. We pay for it and we use it, so we should have a say in its future.
What the health secretary's plans fail to realise is that there are bigger issues that need to be addressed, other than the contracts of consultants, to achieve an effective seven-day NHS.
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.
Jeremy talks a lot about seven day working in his speech. He seems to think that this is a new concept that nobody has thought about. He must be strolling around feeling rather proud of himself. Well I have news for you Mr Hunt... we already work weekends.
The current row about doctors working 24/7 is a smaller fray than other matters. My medic friends might slap me with a surgical glove for saying that,...