Thursday, 11 February 2016


Today I am depressed and sad &  I write this with a very heavy heart
I have resisted the urge to write or do anything about the Junior doctors' dispute apart from showing my support for the juniors in our department.
But after today's developments, I just cannot hold back any further.
The poor Syrian people and junior doctors in England have alot in common  -  let down by everyone around them,
a health secretary who is obsessed with a single issue and who seems to have lost the plot completely,
a trade union that since the days of Tony Blair has tried to convince everyone that the NHS is about to be sold off to big bad American Corporations and that this dispute is about privatisation and saving the NHS,
a trade union that has continued to argue for huge increases in the number of doctors paid at a premium rate at a time when the the country is indebted to the hilt
by Health Education England and their predecessors for not  developing the role of Physicians/Surgeons Assistants  or whatever they're called nowadays,  as a separate profession for school leavers (rather than raiding depleted stock of nurses and other healthcare workers).
By educationalists and royal colleges who insisted on removal of the apprenticeship model and  developing and formalising training for junior doctors ( a good thing in itself) without insisting on a decrease in the huge amount of service they were still providing  -
by senior healthcare managers and public health doctors who continue to argue for fewer hospital beds and seem to missed the fact that the population is ageing fast and that these elderly people require both increased social and healthcare services resulting in a unbearable burden that seems to fallen on, amongst others the shoulders of junior doctors,

and I could go on and on.
Something had to give and I fear we are all about to pay a very high price.

PS I gave a talk to 6th formers last week and the ones who plan to do medicine are applying to Scottish and Welsh medical schools because of the doctors' dispute.

I was speaking with junior German doctors last night and their jaws dropped when I told them that the UK government wanted to classify Saturday as a normal working day for doctors in training in England.