I’ve never been one to make decisions lightly- I started this blog on the single principle that evidence based argument is the only way to discuss any issue.
A while back I posted my thoughts on the new contract; I made a decision that this new contract is unfair and unsafe, and won’t stand up to the world once it’s rolled out. The contract should’ve been voted down, and we should’ve campaigned for another year to tighten and refine the mechanisms we have so they truly do work.
And then Brexit happened. The contract hasn’t changed, but the world has.
We are heading into another recession, this time with a barebones NHS with literally nothing left to strip away. Both sides of the commons are a boiling hot mess right now- but no one new is coming to save it. Hunt is making a run for prime minister, Lord help us all.
The contract may have not been what we fought for, but now it must become the means we use to go on fighting.
Juniordoctorblog votes Yes.
Just as before, I recognise the responsibility this path demands. I will join the local forum and run for position in the BMA. I will hold my trust to account – making sure their guardian role is fully funded and fully staffed. I will engage with the junior doctor body of my hospital, support them in their work schedules and exception reporting.
We will need anonymous whistleblowing means for those that fear retribution we still aren’t covered for. We will need infrastructure- an app to log your hours and automatically exception report, a forum of educational supervisors to train and guide them, legal tools to challenge HRs that refuse to comply, or make exception reporting or TOIL exceptionally unnecessarily difficult.
We will have to work out how our LTFT colleagues can be supported- we will need to lobby extra contractually to get them exempt from exam fees and indemnity fees.
And most importantly of all- we all need to continue campaigning as a body of doctors for the future of the NHS. A free at the point of health service system saves lives, and is the last great thing about Britain I can think of right now. The NHS won’t survive another recession.
We all have a duty of care- to our patients, to our health service, to each other.
So Vote Yes. Then roll up your sleeves.
There is work to do.