It doesn't really matter now what happens with the contract. Come August the shortage of junior doctors will be worse than ever, rotas will be full of gaps and the existing workforce will be even more stretched than they are at present. This will perpetuate the downward spiral of NHS morale and the ongoing departure of valuable staff from the service. If only Mr Hunt had been willing to talk all those months ago.
As we study a new Queen's Speech, it seems a good time to reflect on what has been a busy twelve months for general practice: In May 2015 we saw the...
The responsibility lies with the government; they have chosen to spend £9m on a leaflet about Brexit without spending this on having more junior doctors or investing in a better contract for junior doctors.
It wasn't meant to go like this. We were meant to cross the picket line in waves, our public support was meant to crumble, and trust in our profession was meant to disintegrate as our strike imperiled patients' lives.
As I type this on the seventh floor of Barts hospital in London, a bag of cyclophosphamide (a close relation of mustard gas) is being delivered straight into my heart via an arm-mounted catheter. I am at the complete mercy of the NHS. And I am entirely in support of the junior doctors' strike.
Doing battle with the junior doctors, smearing them, ignoring them, trying to silence them, is the perfect way to obliterate goodwill and turn kindness into jaded disinterest. A generation of junior doctors is desperate here. Striking is an act of desperation. Jeremy Hunt claims he supports NHS whistleblowers. Yet now, faced with 54,000 of them, he's using every trick in the book to silence them. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.
Junior Doctors are trusted all over the country, every hour of every week, to look after the health of their patients. My plea would be that none would be swayed by the spun conspiracy theories from the government that the BMA to trying to destroy Westminster. Rather, I would appeal for trust that this country's doctors will continue to do what they are the best in the world at doing- looking after their patients.
As strike action by junior doctors continues, the government is apparently in quandary over whether it is 'imposing' or 'introducing' the new contract. Whichever they choose, the contract will currently apply only to new junior doctors: the current Medical undergraduates. Yet their voice has been peculiarly neglected in the debate.
The world is watching Mr Cameron, I would like Michelle Obama, as a representative of a member state of the United Nations, to remind you of your promises.
Mr Hunt's dramatic U-turn on his repeated threat to impose his contract, broken by the Guardian, has arisen from a court case mounted by grassroots junior doctors against him. They believe they can prove he has no legal basis upon which to make his threat, and has acted unlawfully by pretending to be able to exercise a power he never had.
After another 48 hour strike by junior doctors, the clock is still ticking for Jeremy Hunt to come off his bike and move back into the negotiating roo...
Doctors' contracts are not the problem, but this contract is: it puts the long-term delivery of patient care at risk and the future for our patients, our profession and the NHS as a whole shouldn't be up for negotiation.
David Cameron may be happy for our children to grow up into a world where women still get paid less than a man, for doing exactly the same job as a man, but I am not. Nor, I have no doubt, are the vast majority of men and women in modern Britain. 60% of doctors in the NHS are women. With its regressive, discriminatory contract, the government seems hell-bent on driving us away.
We would like to plan it with you, we would like to gather information and have a really solid plan, one we think is sensible and safe; but not with you imposing an uncosted, untested, unfunded contract Mr Hunt and not with your scaremongering.
When we look back on this time in history, we will not be proud that we made record profit margins from cancer drugs while one person died of cancer every four seconds, but we can be proud by making a stand to change this.
For the moment, the voice of junior doctors is being smothered by the toxic fumes of political propaganda. In the meantime, junior doctors will not give the fight. It is still their fight, but they need us to be behind them. We are, after all, One Profession.