Junior doctors march during the last wave of strike action photo Paul Mattsson

Junior doctors march during the last wave of strike action photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Jon Dale

Most junior doctors have moved to new posts this month but their contract dispute continues.

58% voted to reject the latest Department of Health ‘offer’ In July. No talks or revised offer have been forthcoming since.

A new survey reveals the impact of dangerous staff shortages. Rota gaps leave junior doctors covering too many patients, often in areas beyond their experience – and 21% of rota gaps were not covered by any doctor, even a temporary locum.

“We don’t have time to review patients properly. [I am] constantly fighting fires covering three people’s jobs, so never have time to think about a patient properly,” one doctor told the survey.

The government’s ‘seven-day working’, if implemented, would mean more admissions at weekends for routine treatments when there aren’t enough staff covering emergencies.

Applications to medical school have fallen – from 17,140 in 2014 to 14,820 for courses starting this autumn. In five years the shortage of doctors will be even worse.

A programme of escalating 24-hour and 48-hour junior doctor strikes is needed, co-ordinated with teachers, university lecturers, rail workers and other disputes.

Call on the TUC

The junior doctors’ union the BMA should organise a national demonstration to defend the NHS, calling on the TUC and other unions to help build this into a massive rejection of unending cuts and privatisation.

Unite the Union’s policy is to “call on other health unions and the TUC to co-ordinate widespread joint industrial action of health and other workers alongside any group of health workers under attack, as the junior doctors have been. Groups of health workers must not be left to fight alone, bearing in mind the needs of patients’ care.”

This policy must be turned into action.

7th NSSN rally@TUC

11 September 2016

‘Cameron Gone – get the rest of the Tories Out!’

We need to bring together all the struggles against the Tories



Ashdown Suite in the Holiday Inn, 137 King’s Rd (seafront), Brighton, BN1 2JF

Speakers include:

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, PCS President Janice Godrich, BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper, POA general secretary Steve Gillan and a speaker from the RMT