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Ipswich Hospital junior doctor set to join strike says they feel ‘cornered’ by the Government in contract dispute

20:00 11 January 2016

Ipswich Hospital.

Ipswich Hospital.

Archant

A junior doctor joining tomorrow’s planned strikes in Suffolk has said her colleagues feel “cornered” in the dispute with the government over pay and a new contract.

Sadia Choudhury, a junior doctor at Ipswich Hospital, raised safeguarding fears over the new contract but backed hospital bosses who insisted patients should not be concerned that the level of care will be compromised during the proposed walkout.

No appointments have been cancelled at Ipswich Hospital or West Suffolk Hospital (WSH) in Bury St Edmunds.

David Cameron has pleaded with junior doctors to call off their “damaging” strike and NHS England has warned hospitals will be under “additional pressure”.

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute failed on Friday, although further talks will continue. Junior doctors are set to provide emergency care only for 24 hours from 8am tomorrow.

Mrs Choudhury said: “I don’t think the government understands exactly how the NHS works. The contracts which are being imposed are unfair and more importantly they are unsafe.

“For us there are issues over pay, safeguarding, the number of hours we would have to do, pay progression and those who work part-time.

“Someone like me, in the middle of training, probably wouldn’t be affected. But people coming fresh out of medical school are going to be hit the most because they won’t have any payment protection.

“I don’t think striking is right at any time, even in the summer. But I feel like we have been cornered and it is almost like we are not being listened to.”

The basis for the current round of negotiations is the Government’s offer from early November, including an 11% rise in basic pay for junior doctors.

This is offset by plans to cut the number of hours on a weekend for which junior doctors can claim extra pay for unsocial hours.

Currently, 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday and the whole of Saturday and Sunday attracts a premium rate of pay.

Under the Government’s offer, junior doctors would receive time-and-a-half for any hours worked Monday to Sunday between 10pm and 7am, and time-and-a-third for any hours worked between 7pm and 10pm on Saturdays and 7am and 10pm on Sundays.

Mrs Choudhury added: “During the strike, there will be emergency care (equivalent to weekends) but with all the consultants. But I don’t think people should be concerned. If something happens, go to hospital and get treated.”

An Ipswich Hospital spokesman said: “Everyone is working very hard to make sure patients receive high-quality, safe care.

“We have not cancelled any operations, but we have rearranged 60 outpatient appointments out of the daily 1,000 outpatient appointments. If you have not heard from us and you have an appointment (today), please keep it.”

A WSH spokesman said: “We have an excellent relationship with our junior doctors and have been working closely with them and our consultants.

“Where necessary, we have warned patients that some clinics and routine operations may be affected (but) we have asked patients to come for their appointment as normal unless they hear from us.”

Meanwhile, routine operations set for tomorrow were cancelled for 50 patients, who were warned at the weekend, at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

A hospital spokesman said: “We apologise to those patients who have been affected.

“Many services will not be affected by the industrial action...such as emergency care, radiotherapy, renal dialysis, chemotherapy, critical care and maternity services.”

15 comments

  • I believe that the issue of NHS consultants also doing private work dates back to the beginning of the NHS - it was the only way to get some doctors to "sign up" at all. My late father was a Consultant who mainly did private work, my mother (further to the Left politically than he) felt strongly that this sort of thing shouldn't be allowed; however my father saw it as an essentially "private" doctor " doing his bit" for the NHS! Of the course the NHSprivate ratio will differ between Consultants; some - possibly many - have a strong "public health" ethos and choose to work only within the NHS.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Friday, January 15, 2016

  • Waspie'swife..I agree with Gobby. The wards are definitely not the same at weekends. To many elderly waiting for care packages or tests. We need care to be the same all week. I have a friend who was waiting ages to see a consultant for bad back, pain was bad, paid privately, then eventually when his apt came through, it was the same consultant he'd seen privately. This is the next thing that needs sorting, waits because of private work, so consultants are available weekend. I believe they can opt out. That also means getting staff in work to carry out tests, weekends. A proper cover. You could always call a doctor out at night when I was a girl and young mum, for a genuine concern. When my hubby's hand an infection in his hand, instead of a local doctors surgery open in our area he had to go all the way to an appointment at hospital at the weekend to get antibiotics. What about those elderly who don't drive, keep a surgery open in each local areas for minor complaints, take the strain off A&E. it's awful so many people have prepared for operations, one lady was in pain and her hysterectomy had been cancelled. it's time to get tough on those who take up time through binge drinking too. Didn't have this years ago, so drunk they couldn't go into the station to be dealt with.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • It's fairly obvious they want the doctors to work longer hours which is unsafe otherwise they wouldn't be removing the financial penalties imposed on hospitals if they make staff work longer than what is allowed. The NHS is regarded as the envy of the world by patients gobby which is more important. If you believe that statement is wrong try asking people who can't afford insurance in America who have to wait in car parks to get treatment from doctors who volunteer to help these people. We have a world class system where people don't have to worry about getting treatment if they're made redundant or have long term health problems which only increases the cost of health insurances. The problem we have is the Tories want to have it on the cheap or better degrade it so when they sell it off the public will be less resistant to it because the state it is in. People in the cabinet ie Osborne stand to benefit if parts of the NHS are privatised and that kind of conflict of interests should not be allowed. The doctors have never asked for more money but the government want the public to believe it is about money. I'm a nurse and I worked alongside doctors , HCAs, porters, cleaners and more at a hospital for over 26 hours over christmas and boxing day. It's not about the money despite pay freezes it's about keeping patients safe. Already working 13 hours or more and getting paid only for the 12 hours shift without a break for lunch is commonplace in the NHS is hard enough. Removing many of the safeguards which are pretty lax to start with will only end up with one scenario, people will die and people will suffer. I'm proud to work hard for the NHS and I don't do it for myself and especially not the money, I do it for the patients and seeing them suffer because of incompetent government ministers is what makes us angry. Forget that "pay rise" offer, just keep us and our patients safe.

    Report this comment

    redhotitfc

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • Well Deebers we are not going to see eye to eye on this issue but so what. We are not automatons in Corbyn's cabinet are we. I still maintain that the weekend problem is a real issue that needs to be addressed and one wonders why the BMA has not come up with it's own plan to solve it if they are as concerned with patient care as they claim. Being a Doctor is a highly paid prestige job (which received massive pay rises during the Blair-Brown years of bribing the electorate with their own tax monies) and all the medical schools are heavily over-subscribed. If the work was so onerous there wouldn't be such a demand to be a doctor. As to the long hours for juniors, well historically, entry to the profession was actually restricted by the BMA. They had a career pathway so there was every opportunity to end up a consultant if you made the grade and if there were too many doctors the chances would be less. So the understanding was that you would have to work like stink as a junior to cover the work load with a less than optimal number of staff but in the end you had a good chance of being a senior consultant. I do not know if that still happens but it sure used to. I think we can agree tho' that the great british public are rarely told the unvarnished truth about any important issue. Each side presents a tendentious account of the actual situation, a version that supports their view of things.. This of course greatly impairs the functioning of democracy.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • I rarely disagree with gobby but I do on this subject... Accident and emergency have been 24 hrs a day seven days a week since I can recall ..The problem is not the hospitals at all ..your local Doctors have never opened at weekends and if you cannot see a doctor you tend to leave your illness until the Monday. . That's why by the time your admitted and Sunday has the highest rate you are often too Ill for treatment to work.. coincidence that doctors surgeries are closed at weekends ?..Operations happen at weekends now fact... it's a smokescreen for the tories to change the NHS to a cheaper workforce.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • The elephant in the room that the star's lefty readers are ignoring is the simple fact the the mortality rate for weekend admissions is worryingly higher than weekdays and the govt is trying to address this problem OK maybe they are not doing in the best way possible but the politically motivated awkwardness of the BMA is not helping the process at all If the BMA is so concerned about patient safety how come they have failed to address the weekend problem that has existed for decades! The simple fact that they ignored the very real problem somewhat undermines their protestations that are acting solely in the patients best interests. BTW, the NHS is not regarded as the envy of the world by clinicians in France, USA, Australia.. i could go on.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • Actually, I don't think it's as sinister as that, but simply that the software of this website doesn't accept embedded links to other pages (such as the "Observer" article). I've tried including links before, and they are always rejected.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • Clearly the Star doesn't want anyone to know what Dr Dan wrote in the Observer last October. Pity Hunt doesn't understand open and honest.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • Waspie's wife.. I think both sides should keep thrashing this out. I would prefer to see a no strike deal, the same as the police, as this is a service to the public and it is the ordinary public who are at the end of all this. I keep hearing that this strike was called on the initial round of talks on television, I don't know it that is correct. In the article it is stated that during the strike people will receive the same care as the weekend. I don't believe there should be a difference at weekends and having had a relative on a ward a few times at the weekend it is obvious things slow down. More talking, not strikes.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • Dr. Dan made his position very clear in an article he wrote for the "Observer" - hardly a Tory paper - back in October. (I'm afraid it doesn't seem possible to post a link; I've tried). It's clear that he strongly disagrees with the present Government position and feels that making doctors work longer hours is not the way to provide the much-vaunted 247 Health Service.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • It might be helpful to ask Dr Dan what he thinks the issues are and if he feels the government are being honest. My guess is that he stepped down from his government post because he knew the governments position was untenable. Didn't Hunt step down from his last job after being found out from his dealings with Sky?

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • Not exactly true is it old Victor meldrew... even Mr hunt has admitted there will be losers in the deal .. and the greedy MPs got a whopping 10% pay rise with no conditions attached and most of them have second jobs and sit as executives on boards etc..11% may look and sound good but once looked into they will be no better off just forced to work more unsociable hours.. no wonder hundreds of them leave to work abroad.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • May I say from the outset, that having received good treatment from the NHSI have the greatest of respect for the Doctors but how many jobs these days bring in good "unsociable hours" extra payments? How many pay rises of 11%are there? Is the problem the reduction of working hours will be those on the "unsociable hours" rate? People fall ill 247 so don't we need a 247 NHS ? How many people are admitted over a weekend only to be told they will be there until they can be seen by "the doctor" on Monday?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • What I dislike about any strike is that the people the strikers are "getting at" are seldom if ever affected by such action. The poor consumerpatient is the one who suffers and can do absolutely nothing about it.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • No one stumbles across a career as a doctor by accident. Students planning such a career in this field are well prepared and know the hurdles before them; the years of understandable rigorous testing and thorough, repeated examination. Good pay for good work should the mantra in all walks of life and there lies the conundrum. This Tory shambles of a government seems to be just following orders from their corporate donors who have undermined that work ethic. Follow the money ! It is not going to the frontline hard working doctors and nursing staff. Same with local councils, police, fire and rescue services. The Cons think they can outsource everything but they fail to recognise the value of anything.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Monday, January 11, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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