Standing with the junior doctors fighting to maintain safety for patients, to keep safe hours of work, and to stand against the undermining of women doctors’ pay, brought back memories.
I used to say goodbye to my family 7am Friday for a weekend on call and reappear at home 8pm on Monday wrecked – and having inevitably been too tired to perform at my best at times during that 82 hour shift. One woman neonatal trainee, after 24 hours without sleep, drove off home, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed head on into a taxi. The next morning, I fell asleep on the A2 back from Kent after my 24 hours, but woke up with my foot off the pedal just in time. Never again.
It was an inspiring march in central London last Saturday (17 October). There was real, justifiable anger from junior doctors at Hunt’s deceits. From his position as most wealthy cabinet member, he enjoys baiting junior doctors. He claims 9pm Saturday is the same as 9am Tuesday and pay for hours worked away from friends and family should just be basic rates.
This is a plan to cheapen NHS labour across the workforce, to pay less for the ’24/7′ NHS which is already in place. It is all part of the ‘plot against the NHS’ (great book, and we have more). We in Keep Our NHS Public are more important than we realise in being part of the urgent task to pull all these themes and struggles together into an effective campaign to save the NHS.
Please, join us. Help the junior doctors. Help NHS staff. Fight to save our NHS.
Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Consultant Paediatrician and KONP member (photo, left)