In an increasingly capitalist world it is easy to give in to temptation, however, that is neither the ethos nor the mandate of a socialist NHS. Before forcing through change let us talk yet perhaps more importantly; let us listen. Only then we can devise a strategy on how to deliver the future, together.
To the people that rely on the NHS we want to say thank you for sticking with us through our battle this far. We want to say this vote means that we are united in standing up for our profession but we are also united in standing up for you. We will find a way through this, because we sincerely feel your future care depends on it.
Junior doctors like me have been crying out injustice for over two months now. The idea of an imposed contract has, unsurprisingly not been met with a warm reception and so in addition to a plea for genuine opportunity to negotiate, The BMA have been clear that withdrawing this threat is crucial for progress. Personally, I have been pretty vocal about my negative feelings regarding the idea of an imposition....but is it reasonable?
I value every junior doctor who has played a part in my journey. Complex conditions are difficult to live with. Patients can develop trust issues with doctors and we can easily lose our voice. Hospitals become our second home and our life can change in an instant. Junior doctors teach us skills we cannot learn ourselves. They laugh with us and cry with us. They become our closest ally when we are facing our hardest battles. To every junior doctor fighting for recognition, I value you.
The debate around proposed reforms to their contracts has highlighted their passion and dedication. That's why this week's firm contract offer from the government and NHS Employers is important. The government has been clear that our proposed reforms are about delivering a fairer, safer deal for doctors and patients. This proposal builds on the cast-iron guarantees that the government has already set out on better basic pay, a shorter working week and improving patient safety.
I am desperate for progress, I am desperate for talks and I am desperate for the Department of Health to realise that extra money is not my motivation for working extra hours now, nor will it persuade me into accepting these proposals for the future. As a junior doctor I am saying, keep your thirty pieces of silver Hunt; but please, lets talk about patients.
As we give serious consideration to the concerns of our junior doctors, driven to the edge of industrial action, let's also think about the nurses, cleaners, paramedics, healthcare assistants, porters, consultants, and everyone who makes up the NHS. They deserve decent working conditions, and that includes good mental health.