Around 1,000 junior doctors have taken to the streets of Nottingham as part of a nation wide protest against changes to their contracts.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is pushing towards extending normal staff working hours to 10pm and having more doctors working weekends – making the NHS a ‘seven day service.’ Main concerns are said to be about safeguarding as care could suffer if patients are being treated by over worked and tired medical staff.
“Having junior doctors working Saturdays means not having a full service”
Liam, Junior Doctor
Doctors have said that these proposals have caused them to start looking for work abroad or leaving the medical field altogether.
Speaking to Liam a junior doctor at QMC he says “Having junior doctors working Saturdays means not having a full service as only emergency x-ray, blood test and consultant cover services operate on the weekends. If you have junior doctors working but not the rest of them, it’s an incomplete service. So the government would then probably stretch out these services too.”
Queens Medical Centre Junior doctor Liam speaks about how the government can help the NHS
The 24-hour walkout started at 8am this morning and with NHS England saying more than 2,000 operations have been cancelled.
Negotiations between the Department of Health and the doctors’ union the British Medical Association are still ongoing.