The junior doctor contract dispute has taken its toll; eight gruelling months, three major protests, four days of strike action, and 54,000 angry, articulate, dedicated individuals.
We have staged sit ins, delivered giant books, set up fake betting shops, supported two hugely successful choirs and one Christmas number one, created fashion lines, and even collaborated with a Time Lord or two. We have become our own investigative journalists: uncovering dubious research practice, revealing departmental incompetence and lies, and documenting tragic cases of the government’s spin causing real patient harm. We have become our own researchers: revealing flawed data, misrepresentation of statistics and huge holes in the government’s ‘evidence’ arguments.
We are not giving up anytime soon.
Why are we doing this? David Cameron and company would have you believe we are grabbing for a payrise, grabbing for free weekends and better perks. Many of you know by now this is simply untrue.
What we are terrified of is an imposed contract, unmodelled, uncosted, and unbelievably unsafe. The NHS is on its knees- the knock-on effect to recruitment and retention alone, not just for junior doctors but all NHS staff, could collapse the entire service.
So what next? How can we make a government listen to our concerns.
This. We, a group of patients, doctors and NHS staff, are proud to announce the initiation of a second independent judicial review into the junior doctors contract.
We are not the BMA- they have challenged the government as an employment dispute, on equality grounds.
We are challenging them over patient safety- patients who are concerned an already underfunded NHS cannot cope with the government’s insistence on ‘7-day’ services without additional funds or additional doctors. We have huge gaps in cover already- 60% increase in rota gaps for doctors, 50% increase in agency nurses in a single year. 9/10 junior doctors have said they will resign if the new contract goes ahead. Even if 1/10 actually leave- for locum work, abroad, pharmaceuticals, or even simply stop being doctors- the system will crumble. Then the nurses, the pharmacists, the AHPs, the consultants, the GPs will undergo the same.
We have instructed renowned Human Rights and judicial review specialist law firm, Bindmans LLP, to investigate the legality of the decisions of the Secretary for Health. We will ask for a wide-ranging review into the impact on staffing, costing and the evidence for need and benefit of imposition. We will force the government to finally listen, and come up with the so-far missing evidence to back up months of wild claims and false promises.
At the very least we will see the necessity, and take the time to consider the biggest gamble in the history of the NHS. At best, we may finally prove that the DoH and government have been peddling smoke and mirrors, and find the real reasons for the underfunding, the enforced contracts, the increased privatisation. Most importantly, we may avert catastrophic patient harm.
What can you do to help?
We are not an organisation- we are simply individuals who care deeply about the future of the NHS. We are crowdfunding our case here, at CrowdJustice. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook as #JustHealth. We are off to a great start, but need at least £100,000 or more to fund such a complex and important legal action. We will possibly need more to keep going, and it will be only your support that will make this possible.
For years I have ranted on about trying to save our NHS. Many of you agree, but ask “what can I do about it?”
This. You can do this.
We can save our NHS. We must.
I am so glad you are doing this & so angry that it is necessary. I do not have much money but I will give what I can & I will spread this blog far & wide.
You are supported, you must fight this. I cannot afford private health care but I am fit & well. We have seen already how this evil government treat the vulnerable.
Go for it – we do not want to lose any of you fantastic people.
Keep up the good work; I was particularly annoyed when the BBC revealed that the NHS are actively advertising 6000 odd jobs for doctors, and 7000 for nurses, and yet deliberately winding up the doctors they have at present. Never mind the huge sums spent on short term, supply, medical staff; the government don’t seem to be able to manage joined up thinking. Good luck.
I’m a Consultant, and completely support you. I’ve not met a Consultant who doesn’t. You are showing that you care about your patients and about the NHS. You and junior doctors as a group have approached this demonstrating amazing leadership, communication and team working skills. The kind of people most employers would be delighted to have working for them, and would nurture, support and encourage. Or alienate, demoralise and force to leave the organisation, even the country. Well done Jeremy.
Well said. The government are so wrong and the media are utterly biased in their reporting of this.
Please see my one minute NHS saving action plan and take action tonight! Also, what else can we DO?
One minute NHS saving action plan!
Following the appalling events of Friday 11 March (see link at the bottom), take this one minute action plan and save your NHS tonight!
If you have one minute….
1) Sign the following petition “Vote of no confidence in Jeremy hunt.” He needs to resign. He’s grossly incompetent. If 10000 sign a petition, the government will respond. If 100000 people sign, a parliamentary debate is considered. This has 327000 signatures and is awaiting a debate date.
If you have one minute more…..
2) Email your MP asking where on earth they were on Friday. Make it clear to your MP that the NHS bill is not going away, and that the debate should receive emergency rescheduling this week.
Find your MPs email address:
For example, Dear MP,
You must act to represent me by supporting the NHS bill debate and effect positive change within the NHS.
/I was horrified that…./you did not attend….
It is imperative that…..
If you have another minute…..
3) Pledge £1 to the BMA legal challenge on doctors contracts:
4) Join 38 degrees. They have integrity!
Lastly share this post/email/tweet with your family and friends
Thankyou! Dr gillian myers GP
Not sure what I’m talking about?
54,000 angry individuals at £2 each should raise the funds. Although i would appreciate a bit more honesty. This is purely about pay which i have no problem with as you all deserve every penny. Its not about saving the NHS or tired doctors make mistakes as under the current contract you wouldnt be striking. So lets see all the banners raised with just the words “fair pay for doctors”
I’m a CD / AMD. I’m happy to support this (with a statement or anything else), especially from a senior medical managers perspective – on why the new rotas and expected rota gaps will harm patients. I’ve donated as well.
I would love to support this. However, I just don’t see how judicial review is the right remedy. A judicial review checks that the decision by a public decision maker is lawful, rational and made in line with the relevant procedures. A rubbish renewal offer for the terms and condition of a contract isn’t illegal or irrational. And it isn’t the Court’s role to determine what affects patient safety in a judicial review. That money would be far better spent on PR / advertising. Feel free to correct me.
You walked away from talks for a year – “time to listen”? You went on strike during negotiations – not exactly a sign of commitment. Your statistics are biased as you ignore junior doctors who are not part of the BMA. And your scaremongering “save the NHS” tactics are just that. This dispute is not about saving the NHS. Just because you work in the health sector doesn’t make you all better than the rest of us who are mostly in privately owned companies.