Statement on Junior Doctor Dispute

‘Since the beginning of the junior doctor contract dispute, I have been deeply concerned with the government approach.

Yesterday, we received confirmation that the hugely unpopular changes to contracts will be forced upon junior doctors, a decision which ignores just how unpopular these changes are among NHS staff. Rather than listening to the legitimate concerns that the British Medical Association have raised since the plans were announced, the Health Secretary has instead ignored them and imposed his will.

By not accepting any of the proposals tabled by the BMA, it is clear that Jeremy Hunt, someone who does not have a background in medicine, thinks he knows more about the NHS and patient safety than those who work in the profession.

This morning, I received an email from a constituent, the parent of a junior doctor. The family have worked hard to get them through education and train to be a doctor but now, due to the changes in the junior doctor contract, she may leave the profession, despite years of training.

The parent doesn’t blame her, she works long hours and her pay is not even high enough to move out of the family home due to the extortionate London rental market. But despite this, she loves working in the NHS and that is what makes her leaving a true tragedy. Because, the sad reality is that these changes may lead to more of our best and brightest doctors leaving a profession they once loved as morale gets lower and lower among NHS staff. We must never forget that our world class health service is built on its brilliant staff and we cannot afford to lose it.’