So later on today we shall see thousands of ‘junior’ doctors and many sympathetic colleagues as well as the public demonstrate in the centre of Leeds and many other cities nationwide. Why has it come to this?
There is no doubt that patients would welcome the increased flexibility of access to their GPs which seven day cover would mean and the assurance that if they happen to need hospital treatment at the weekend, they will find both staff and time to be treated, as if it were a weekday. From all I have watched, listened to and people I have spoken with doctors do not disagree with this principle; after all they are in the job to improve people’s lives and make them better. No, the issue at hand is once again the manner of the consultations by Government, the doubts about their integrity and real intent and their five year track record of bringing the NHS almost to bankruptcy.
Why at this very moment Leeds is struggling to even begin to find in-year revenue savings of around £2.8 M; which have just been imposed on Public Health by Mr Osborne. Oh and by the way that consultation took place in four weeks in August! Enough said!
So called ‘junior’ doctors are of course young people who have studied for up to ten years, who carry very serious responsibilities in hospitals and make life and death decisions every day. Their work- and that of all their colleagues in the NHS- deserves recognition, respect and thanks.
Councillor Peter Gruen
Chair of Adult Social Care, Public Health and NHS Scrutiny Board