YOUR LETTERS: Put patients ahead of cuts

Junior doctors striking
Junior doctors striking
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I have recently written to my local MP, reminding him just how valued and important the NHS is to everyone – both those who work in it and those who gratefully receive its assistance.

After lengthy negotiations, the Government appears to be intent on slowly destroying this valued service – and we are all affected.

It is continually reported in the press and on TV that the UK’s financial status – and we are not alone here – is of huge concern.

The Government’s response is to announce cutback after cutback, not building or protecting the very services that we need, but running them down to the point of near destruction.

Services that we previously took for granted are no longer being made available, while others will seemingly never be replaced.

Such actions mean provision of an effective health service is becoming impossible to achieve or, at least, very difficult to sustain.

The British Medical Association has already staged two walkouts as a result of the Government announcing new and unwanted contracts being imposed on our junior doctors.

It has also been reported that NHS chief executives are refusing to support an imposition. Patients’ representatives have said they are appalled by the proposed changes to junior doctors’ contracts.

The Government’s former advisor on patient safety, Don Berwick, has stated that officials should apologise to junior doctors over the contract dispute but, as we have seen previously, reasoning is not a strong point with those in power.

There are clear problems with the present working conditions of junior doctors, who already work long hours across seven days a week under existing contracts.

A solution would be to stop imposing ridiculous contracts upon existing doctors, but to employ more doctors and associated staff, while supplying the extra investment necessary to support them.

Many of us remember the brutality and savage conditions a Conservative Government imposed on coal miners some 32 years ago. We are witnessing similar actions being adopted once more.

Imposing a new and unwelcome contract on doctors is nothing short of bullying, and reflects an attack on all of us, the voting public of this country.

I would ask Jeremy Hunt to do all in his considerable power to reconsider the present action being adopted and return to the negotiating table for fresh talks to stop further strikes and put patients’ needs ahead of conflict.