NHS walkout

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Post by ShahenshahG on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:22 pm

I'd have thought this place would be buzzing with the strikes going on. Your thoughts?


Here is Frankie's view on it just for a bit o levity.


One of the worst things for doctors must be that, after seven years of study and then another decade of continuing professional exams, patients come in telling them they’re wrong after spending 20 minutes on Google. So imagine how doctors must feel about Jeremy Hunt, who hasn’t even had the decency to go on the internet.

Consider how desperate these doctors are: so desperate that they want to talk to Jeremy Hunt. Surely even Hunt’s wife would rather spend a sleepless 72 hours gazing into a cracked open ribcage than talk to him. Hunt won’t speak to the doctors, even though doctors are the people who know how hospitals work. Hunt’s only other job was founding Hotcourses magazine: his areas of expertise are how to bulletpoint a list and make dog grooming look like a viable career change.

Of course, the strikers are saying this is about safety, not pay, as expecting to be paid a decent wage for a difficult and highly skilled job is now considered selfish. Surely expecting someone to work for free while people all around them are dying of cancer is only appropriate for the early stages of The X Factor. Sadly, Tories don’t understand why someone would stay in a job for decency and love when their mother was never around long enough to find out what language the nanny spoke.

The fact that Hunt co-wrote a book about how to dismantle the NHS makes him feel like a broad stroke in a heavy-handed satire. Even the name Jeremy Hunt is so redolent of upper-class brutality that it feels like he belongs in one of those Martin Amis books where working-class people are called things like Dave Rubbish and Billy Darts (No shade, Martin – I’m just a joke writer: I envy real writers, their metaphors and similes taking off into the imagination sky like big birds or something). Indeed, Jeremy Hunt is so overtly ridiculous that he might be best thought of as a sort of rodeo clown, put there simply there to distract the enraged public.

I sympathise a little with Hunt – he was born into military aristocracy, a cousin of the Queen, went to Charterhouse, then Oxford, then into PR: trying to get him to understand the life of an overworked student nurse is like trying to get an Amazonian tree frog to understand the plot of Blade Runner. Hunt doesn’t understand the need to pay doctors – he’s part of a ruling class that doesn’t understand that the desire to cut someone open and rearrange their internal organs can come from a desire to help others, and not just because of insanity caused by hereditary syphilis.
The government believes that death rates are going up because doctors are lazy, rather than because we’ve started making disabled people work on building sites. Indeed, death rates in the NHS are going up, albeit largely among doctors. From the steel mines where child slaves gather surgical steel, all the way up to senior doctors working 36 hours on no sleep, the most healthy people in the NHS are actually the patients. This is before we get to plans for bursaries to be withdrawn from student nurses, so that we’re now essentially asking them to pay to work. Student nurses are essential; not only are they a vital part of staffing hospitals, they’re usually the only people there able to smile at a dying patient without screaming: “TAKE ME WITH YOU!”

The real reason more people die at weekends is that British people have to be really sick to stay in hospital at the weekend, as hospitals tend not to have a bar. We have a fairly low proportion of people who are doctors, don’t plan to invest in training any more, and are too racist to import them. So we’re shuffling around the doctors we do have to the weekend, when not a lot of people are admitted, from the week, when it’s busy. This is part of a conscious strategy to run the service down to a point where privatisation can be sold to the public as a way of improving things.

Naturally, things won’t actually be improved; they’ll be sold to something like Virgin Health. Virgin can’t get the toilets to work on a train from Glasgow to London, so it’s time we encouraged it to branch out into something less challenging like transplant surgery. With the rate the NHS is being privatised, it won’t be long before consultations will be done via Skype with a doctor in Bangalore. Thank God we’re raising a generation who are so comfortable getting naked online. “I’m afraid it looks like you’ve had a stroke. No, my mistake – you’re just buffering.”

When I was little, I was in hospital for a few days. The boy in the next bed was an officious little guy who took me on a tour of the ward. He’d sort of appointed himself as an auxiliary nurse and would help out around the place, tidying up the toys in the playroom, and giving all the nurses a very formal “Good Morning”, which always made me laugh. I got jelly and ice-cream one evening (I’d had my tonsils out) and they brought him some, too. Afterwards, he threw his spoon triumphantly into his plate and laughed till there were tears in his eyes. Then he tidied up and took our plates back to the trolley. What he meant by all this (we’d sit up at night talking and waiting for trains to go by in the distance) is that this was the first place he’d known any real kindness and he wished to return it. For most of us it will be the last place we know kindness. How sad that we have allowed it to fall into the hands of dreadful people who know no compassion at all, not even for themselves.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:49 pm

And to balance Frankie Boyle's Guardian piece, here's from the Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/25/the-tragic-naivety-of-immature-junior-doctors-and-their-strike/


Clever people make the best fools. Their cleverness blinds them to their limitations: people who think they know it all cannot imagine there are things they do not understand. Many junior doctors are clever people.

As things stand, those doctors will tomorrow refuse to work, withholding even emergency care from the patients they swore to protect, as part of an industrial dispute over their terms of employment.

Given that these are public employees providing (or not, in this case) a public service, this dispute is inevitably political. As a political journalist who’s written a bit about it in recent months, and as a result had many conversations with doctors, I have reached the saddening conclusion that many of them do not know what they are doing and do not understand the conflict they are now escalating.

Some of this is about basic competence. The doctors and their leaders have done a very poor job of explaining why they are striking, offering a range of confused and changing justifications. Many doctors seem unaware of the position taken in negotiations on their behalf by their trade union (short summary: if the Government had agreed to pay more for Saturday working, the BMA would have settled and there’d be no strikes) and believe their strike is not about money.

If the public sympathise with doctors over the dispute (and they do; I'm not under any illusion that criticism like mine is popular) it's because they're doctors, not because of the argument they've made. I'd suggest the more people understand of the detail of the contract negotiation, the less sympathetic they are.

Yet the doctors’ failure of understanding goes beyond tactics into something more fundamental, an unwillingness or perhaps just an inability to appreciate that politics is about reconciling the diverse interests and desires, that no one gets things all their own way.

Simply they don't understand the conflict they're in. Many, engaged in politics for the first time, cannot understand why the Government will not do exactly as they want; for them it's unthinkable that others would not accept the doctors' word on how to fund and structure the NHS as final. Any course of action but theirs is not just unacceptable but immoral.



As for those on the other side of this dispute, there is apparently no possibility that their motives could be honourable. Throughout this dispute I've not yet seen a junior doctor admit even the possibility that Jeremy Hunt, NHS Employers, David Dalton, Bruce Keogh or any of the main players on the employer side might also be acting in good faith, doing things they believe necessary and in the public interest.

Instead, Mr Hunt and his officials are routinely accused of venality and self-interest, and worse. I keep a little file of choice emails and tweets from doctors. It contains evidence of members of the profession making statements in public forums that Mr Hunt is psychopathic or suffering from various other clinical conditions. (There were also a number of homophobic slurs aimed at Mr Hunt, but that was a senior consultant, not a junior.) I can only conclude that the doctors concerned are so convinced of their own righteousness that they cannot admit that those who take a contrary view are anything but immoral.


And as a result, the idea of compromise, the aggregation of interests on which all political decisions are ultimately based, is incomprehensible to such doctors. Instead of an outcome that balances competing needs and interests, the doctors’ view must prevail utterly.

This limited, even childish worldview is not universal. Some junior doctors appreciate that politics is about reconciling competing needs, that there is a bigger picture here than whether they get paid more to work Saturdays. I apologise to them if my praise damns them, but people such as Jason Sarfo-Annin and Chris Kane understand the reality of political debate and are good at it. (There are others too, but I shan’t harm them by naming them). If they were leading their professions' fight instead of the third-rate Twitter trolls in charge at the BMA right now, there wouldn’t be a strike because the doctors would have won (and Jeremy Hunt would probably be out of a job).

Such people are the exceptions though. Far too many doctors seem to approach this dispute in a way that I can only describe as immature. That’s surprising, given that these are highly-qualified and intelligent people doing responsible jobs.

But how else to describe the howling anguish of people who don’t get their way? Who react with such unrestrained hostility to those who dare to challenge them?



Last week a doctor told me to "shut up and be grateful" instead of writing articles about doctors, because they’d “worked bloody hard” to qualify and deserved support, not criticism.

Of course, that was one person (and not one I'll name, because this really isn't about individuals), but I thought it was a telling comment. To the doctor concerned, it seems, doctors are a unique case, their talents and efforts entitling them to deference and to be exempted from the scrutiny that is applied to others.



Other doctors display an almost touching lack of insight into how some aspects of their own working lives (a job for life, steep pay progression, huge pensions) are simply unobtainable dreams for most workers, even those who also got good A-levels and spent years studying at good universities. One junior doctor (again, I won't name him) last week reprimanded me for writing about doctors’ £1 million pension pots on the grounds that the retirement such funds deliver is “comfortable” but “not extravagant”.

Likewise the tendency to overlook (or simply not know) the fact that many of their problems (antisocial hours, weekend working, growing workloads and static or falling workforces) are common to many other professions and trades, many of whom do not enjoy the same benefits as doctors.

Spare a thought here for the impact this outlook has on the doctors themselves. Having become so utterly convinced of the rightness of their cause, many suffer genuine distress when their cause meets resistance or challenge. Some, sadly, are not robust enough to encounter such pressures without experiencing genuine harm. That harm should weigh heavily on the consciences of the BMA leaders who have encouraged young and politically-inexperienced people to seek out confrontation in the harsh arena of public debate.



Doubtless this article will incur more fury from the medical mob on Twitter, more personalised accusations that I write what I write because of a political agenda or some other malign and covert motive. Maybe I’ll get some more emails suggesting I shouldn’t expect medical treatment if I need it, or talking about my children getting cancer. The doctors responsible for that abuse probably don't even realise that by sending it, they prove the point I'm making: theirs is no way to conduct a grown-up political conversation.

Or maybe they do know and don't mind. After all, they have right on their side so any failure to agree with them is wickedness. They’re not the first group of people to take this view, and they won’t be the last. But their tragic naivety is leading them to do grave harm to themselves and others.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:05 pm

To pick up a couple of points in Frankie's hilarious opinion piece which has been doing the rounds on Twitter though:

1) Drs want to talk to Hunt - no, they don't, everything is going through the BMA and Drs have shown no interest in negotiating other than with their Trade Union running the show and not actually even telling them everything.

2) Not about wages - seems to have been shown that if Hunt had conceded early doors on weekend pay BMA have already said they'd have recommended the delay. So it is about pay, just not, perhaps, exclusively.

3) Nanny comment - classic and horrendously pompous reverse snobbery. Moral high-ground relinquished......

4) Child slaves? Behave. Not relevant. Pathetic.

5) Nurse bursaries - unless there is a serious recruitment issue, why should UKG/taxpayer pay for nurses to train when they don't for all manner of other professions? It's just a f*cking job like any other.

6) Virgin - not relevant to the debate but without question the best airliner and best train operator I've ever travelled with.

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Post by Ent on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 2:58 pm

Frankies article is funny, telegraph is full of nonsense.

Junior doctors committee is part of bma top hat, they are junior doctors, negotiating party are doctors.

Pay neutral envelope proposed by jdc rejected by hunt.

It's a mess quite frankly, remove hunt from his post and start again.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:01 pm

BMA are a heavily politicised trade union. The fact some (or even all) are also qualified Drs is totally different to suggesting that Drs are trying to invite Hunt round for a cup of tea and a chat.

The DT article is as accurate and relevant as Frankie's, it just doesn't take the populist stance.

The only way this has any hope of settlement is if a deal was negotiated by indepedent 3rd parties - not those more interested in political point scoring.

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Post by Ent on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:09 pm

Bma aren't interested in political point scoring.

They are a terrible trade union, failing multiple times over the years - most recently pension reform.

The jdc are elected representatives of junior doctors by other junior doctors - who else should negotiate, all 70,000 non consultant doctors?

Boyles article is a comedy piece generally supporting junior doctors, the telegraph one is garbage and factually incorrect.

I know you hate trade unions but try having a think about this instead of trotting out the usual line.


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:21 pm

I have had a think about it and I think BMA are awful and without doubt interested in political point scoring - even if the JDC are a more reasonable bunch. Remove them, and Hunt, and there's a chance of a resolution.

And what part(s) of the DT article are so bad? (like the classic hypocrisy though whereby the left-liberal attack is all ok because it's 'trying to be funny' whereas the counter is dismissed as outright wrong).


Drs are clever? Check.
Clever people struggle to ever consider they could be wrong? Check.
Mixed messages over strike reasoning? Check.
Public sympathy is largely with them because of who/what they are? Check (support for strikes by train drivers and even teachers has been lower)
Politics is about reconciling diverse interests? Check.
Some Drs have said some nasty things about those not supporting them? Check (matter of public record and the DT writer has been clear not to tarnish all with the same brush)
Job for life with steep pay progression & huge pension? Check (which personally I think is 100% deserved given what they have to do and how long they have to train for)
Anti-social working hours etc is a difficulty in common with plenty of other professions? Check (if missing the point that it’s maybe more important that your Dr is alert & coherent than it is your waiter)

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Post by Guest on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:46 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:I have had a think about it and I think BMA are awful and without doubt interested in political point scoring - even if the JDC are a more reasonable bunch.  Remove them, and Hunt, and there's a chance of a resolution.

And what part(s) of the DT article are so bad? (like the classic hypocrisy though whereby the left-liberal attack is all ok because it's 'trying to be funny' whereas the counter is dismissed as outright wrong).


Drs are clever? Check.
Clever people struggle to ever consider they could be wrong? Check.
Mixed messages over strike reasoning? Check.
Public sympathy is largely with them because of who/what they are? Check (support for strikes by train drivers and even teachers has been lower)
Politics is about reconciling diverse interests? Check.
Some Drs have said some nasty things about those not supporting them? Check (matter of public record and the DT writer has been clear not to tarnish all with the same brush)
Job for life with steep pay progression & huge pension? Check (which personally I think is 100% deserved given what they have to do and how long they have to train for)
Anti-social working hours etc is a difficulty in common with plenty of other professions? Check (if missing the point that it’s maybe more important that your Dr is alert & coherent than it is your waiter)
Waiter doesn't wash his hands before serving your food or forgets that the lady of table three has a nut allergy then someone's going to hospital and adding to the burden of our already over-worked hospital staff.

I worked for the NHS for a year about 20 odd years ago. Did it after I watched Casualty and figured the rotas would suit me (an hour every Saturday between 8pm and 9pm....turns out I was wrong. Nor were there endless parties with student nurses f*cking everything in sight)

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Post by Ent on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 3:52 pm

The bma are terrible because they srent solely a trade union, the dabble in other activities like campaigning and public health. Exactly what political points are the trade union branch of the bma interested in scoring? Or had ever been?

Boyles a professional comedian, he's written an amusing article broadly in support of junior doctors- not all the points there are serious.

A lot of the telegraph article is rubbish, having multiple issues with a new contract and striking isn't being unclear in the reasoning for it, etc etc.

The jdc have asked for mediation and proposed a cost neutral pay envelope - not sure what else they can do or whoelse should represent junior doctors.

The government want to roll this out in August and haven't even released the pay/banding/rotas doctors have had to calculate it themselves in various permutations to see what it might be like.

Hunt has made a complete and utter mess of this and when he fails his polical career will be in tatters, hence his stubbornness and repeated lies.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:15 pm

Problem is, Ent, you say a "cost neutral pay envelope" but Hunt says he's already offered that - balancing removal of overtime with 11% pay rises. But Drs then worked this through and showed, they say, that it worked out at a loss to them.

So who am I to believe? I'm marginally on the side of the Drs, but it's only 55:45.

Hunt has already admitted it's ended his political career.

And re your DT dislike, you've still only pulled up one point, and it isn't a great one as it just reflects the aforementioned naivety.


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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:44 pm

Positions are too entrenched. No comment other than, on balance, I was with them before the latest walkout. Now, essentially, they can go hang.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:17 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:Positions are too entrenched. No comment other than, on balance, I was with them before the latest walkout. Now, essentially, they can go hang.

I agree with that, under conditions will I ever condone Doctors going on strike, in fact I find it abhorrent that they have.

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Post by Ent on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:43 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Problem is, Ent, you say a "cost neutral pay envelope" but Hunt says he's already offered that - balancing removal of overtime with 11% pay rises. But Drs then worked this through and showed, they say, that it worked out at a loss to them.

So who am I to believe? I'm marginally on the side of the Drs, but it's only 55:45.

Hunt has already admitted it's ended his political career.

And re your DT dislike, you've still only pulled up one point, and it isn't a great one as it just reflects the aforementioned naivety.


I'll go through it if you want but unattributed quotes etc just make it fairly rubbish.

Cost neutral as in using the same salary pot hunt wants just distributed slightly differently so a Saturday pay premium is retained (lower than current).

Hunt doesn't want this as once he forces through Monday to sat 7-2200 as regular working hours for doctors he will do the same for nurses, physio, ots, health care assistants and save the gov huge amounts of money. Until these staff urine off somewhere else to work.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:59 pm

What I wrote on the golf off topic section, much of it in response to comments made by Navy.
I have tried to remove the bits that were just me squabbling with Navy.

McLaren wrote:I fully support the action of the junior doctors.  We are supposed to have evidence based medicine in this country (Homeopathy hospitals aside (blame charles)!) and I would extend that evidence based method to the administration and running of the health service.

Sadly Hunt doesn't seem to understand how something becomes evidence based in the world of science or chooses to ignore this for his own polital agenda.   There may or may not be a weekend effect, as far as I can tell the literature from around the world is inconclusive at the moment.  So how he thinks there is an evidence based fix for an as yet not established issue is beyond me.

And even if this effect did exist on what planet would making the same amount of people work more hours help?

Slipping into anecdote here, but I know many junior doctors and can vouch for the fact they work many, many hours beyond what they get paid.  Can you imagine what the NHS would be like without that goodwill?

I once divided a junior doctor friends salary by hours worked in a week and it came out at about £3 and hour.  Seems fair don't you think? And remember they have to pay for all their own workplace insurance, exams and membership to professional bodies out of their own pocket.

We are already extremely stingy with how much we spend on our health system ( http://beta.data.worldbank.org/?end=2013&indicators=SH.XPD.PCAP.PP.KD&locations=GB-US-DE-FR-CH-AU-BG&start=2001 ) and reducing the amount of doctors we have on top of under funding would be a disaster.  (super please note the dip in funding coinciding with the Tory government, and that other nations facing the same global economics did not feel the need to implement)

I think you are being extremely unkind to suggest this issue is about pay or are very much misinformed about what is happening to our junior doctors.  The evidence (which doesn't include ad hominem's against doctors laughing at the picket line) supports the action of the doctors.


McLaren wrote:If this was only a pay issue then the strike would not be happening.  It is Hunt that keeps claiming the sticking point is Saturday pay rates, but if you want to fall for that then be my guest.

The simple fact is that the same number of people will have to cover more shifts under hunts 7 day plan with the new contract.  There is no need to be bugged by anyone trying to "mask" anything, the pay is what Hunt wants you to think its about but in reality has very little to do with it.

It is also odd that you are worried about A&E, ICU etc being staffed by the same or more people who are also more highly qualified? Why don't you think consultants can manage?


The honest discussion about the NHS is that the current government have completely under funded the NHS and are now trying to screw over doctors even more to fulfill a silly manifesto pledge.  I take it you accept the world bank figures I gave you?


What you have to accept is that working conditions for doctors, nurses and other staff in NHS england are terrible right now, never mind when trying to stretch the same resources further.  Why don't you believe NHS staff when they say things have gone beyond breaking point?
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Post by JAS on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 8:12 am

I'd hazard a guess that most on the government side of the debate (for whatever reason) have private medical care and so the eventual fallout from the dispute won't affect them. Governments don't normally lose this kind of dispute so lets assume for a minute they don't lose this one and look at what the fallout will be.

Doctors will be demotivated
Doctors will leave the NHS and take they're skills to countries where their skills are much more valued
The NHS will have a shortage of doctors and the NHS will be completely unable to sustain 5 day cover never mind Hunt's target of full 7 day cover. In that scenario it's pretty obvious what the outcome will be. Private provision will be hailed as the solution, job done!!

That is the underlying ideological motive of the government side of this dispute. The alleged Page 1 of the Tory manifesto (to provide 7 day cover) is a charade. Does anybody have access to that manifesto and does it actually say 7 day cover FREE AT THE POINT OF USE??

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 8:29 am

I love the idea of full 7 day cover but the only way they can do this properly is to tax more and give more money to the NHS. As it is most of the NHS is having to make cuts. So Monday to Friday provision gets worse and Saturday and Sunday slightly better. Doesn't make a huge difference but will p*** off a lot of people in the sector.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:14 am

I wonder if the government said, "ok, we'll bring the personal allowance back down to c.£6k where it was when we first came into office and, with all the extra tax revenue raised from that, we'll chuck it into the NHS, paying Drs more but for a proper 7 day hospital health service".

Wonder where public support would sit then??

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:20 am

They're not adding more money into the NHS though, they're taking it away.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:26 am

But I said what if they WERE.

I.e. stayed committed to a 7 day hospital health service but acknowledged it couldn't be achieved through cuts and needed actual funding - funding achieved through raised taxes as per your suggestion.

Then what would Joe Public's view be??

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:27 am

Very positive.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:40 am

I severly doubt that.

As per the great Washington Times article I posted recently - people love a bit of socialism until they have to pay for it.

Maybe you didn't read what I actually wrote - I'm not talking about another higher-earner blasting 50% etc. I'm talking a reduction in the personal allowance (the bit you don't currently get taxed on) back down to the levels it was when Tories came into office.

So Joe Public pays for what Joe Public wants. Not Joe Public gets to get other people to pay for something Joe Public wants but those other people will make little or no use of.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:43 am

Ah maybe you're right far too many selfish right wingers about.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:46 am

It's not about wings. Petty childish comment.

It's about whether people are genuinely willing to pay for what they want. And for the most part (irrespective of 'wings') people are indeed selfish and prefer not to (to a point).

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:48 am

Yeah it is I'm afraid.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:58 am

It is what? Headscratch

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 10:08 am

Childish. More complicated than that, some right wingers have a conscience and care about people. Some left wingers when push come to shove prefer not to think of others as long as they have that extra 20 quid in their pockets.

Unfortunately it takes a few years of Conservative government and the NHS struggling to see the bigger picture for some.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 10:14 am

Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

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Post by Ent on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 12:34 pm

You don't need to pay doctors more to offer full 7 day care, you need to hire 40% more off all staff to match midweek levels;

Physio, ot, pharmacy, catering, porters, transport etc plus pay for all the consumables.

It is also questionable wether the demand even exists

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/29/almost-half-seven-day-trial-gp-surgeries-cut-hours-after-lack-of-demand

It is an absolute pipe dream this 7 day full service, absolute complete and utter nonsense.

The 5 day full service is barely functional, I'd concentrate on fixing that first and foremost.

Maybe someday we'll have a full 365 day a year elective and emergency service - that day is generations away.

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 12:56 pm

Is it really fair to contrast an article written by a newspaper's political editor with one written by a comedian most famous for making jokes about Katie Price's disabled son?

At the bottom of this issue, though, is a fundamental question - what is this "7 day NHS" that Jeremy Hunt wants? Does that mean elective procedures being available on the weekend? Or is it simply about addressing the fact that patients admitted on weekends have worse outcomes? If the latter, then it seems odd that the government hasn't calculated what they think it will cost to actually deliver that. It also seems odd that Hunt seems not to have any coordinated strategy to deliver it, beyond this single issue, nor indeed to have an opinion on why the issue exists.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 1:14 pm

Something that occurred to me yesterday during the debate with navy was that in some ways the government have every right to impose the new contract and attempt to stretch current resources to implement a "7 day service". It isn't like this was a spur of the moment decision it was clearly laid out in the Tory party manifesto and the health secretary laid out his plans on how to privatize the NHS in a pretty well known book.

Knowing this many people voted Tory and you have to assume these voters were either ignorant of what they were voting for or were happy to see the NHS become stretched and under funded.

I am annoyed that Hunt is trying to do something with a lack of evidence, but in a democracy there is no requirement that your policy be evidence based, all you need is a majority in parliament. In voting Tory 36.8% of the UK population asked for the NHS to be dismantled in precisely the way it is.

Maybe some people should think a little harder before voting?
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 1:19 pm

jbeadlesbigrighthand wrote:Is it really fair to contrast an article written by a newspaper's political editor with one written by a comedian most famous for making jokes about Katie Price's disabled son?

At the bottom of this issue, though, is a fundamental question - what is this "7 day NHS" that Jeremy Hunt wants? Does that mean elective procedures being available on the weekend? Or is it simply about addressing the fact that patients admitted on weekends have worse outcomes? If the latter, then it seems odd that the government hasn't calculated what they think it will cost to actually deliver that. It also seems odd that Hunt seems not to have any coordinated strategy to deliver it, beyond this single issue, nor indeed to have an opinion on why the issue exists.

I think it is, given the Frankie seems to have become a bit of a spokesperson and Drs champion on this issue, trending on Twitter and being published in a highly respected national newspaper. It's not like we're comparing an off the cuff remark he once made.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 4:20 pm

Problem with strikes is usually the Government know they can wait them out...

The public soon get bored....

Not happening here though as public opinion is still on the Doctors side......

Government could do with sacking that complete tool Hunt and renegotiating with someone that isn't thick..


Last edited by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 4:58 pm

I have my sympathies with them, but feel they get a lot more support than they deserve at times and havent given a crying damn about the changes to the education system whilst expecting the world to save them. So they can do what they want, but I dont have to support it

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 5:15 pm

Accoring to UK Polling report public support has been declining in light of the latest strikes. Akin to some of the sentiment on here.

Fervent supports still support, but the swing voters are becoming indifferent and wavering back to non-support.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm

Like I said public opinion is behind the Doctors.. Rolling Eyes

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 11:32 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:Accoring to UK Polling report public support has been declining in light of the latest strikes.  Akin to some of the sentiment on here.

Fervent supports still support, but the swing voters are becoming indifferent and wavering back to non-support.

Can I query where you're getting that data? It doesn't reflect the data I've seen (published April). Instead, the polls show that the public has greater support for partial strike action vs full strike action. It's not a decline in public support, but rather different support for different action.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 6:14 pm

Support is declining......Always does in these things....Why Governments always try to wait the "dissidents" out.

However the majority of the public are still behind the Doctors....as our "contrarian" friend knows only too well..


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Post by Guest on Thu 05 May 2016, 1:09 pm

The doctors don't have my sympathy. Simply this dispute is about money and the fact that they are going to miss out huge hourly rates for overtime. It's nearly on par with what they pay agency staff!


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Post by Ent on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:04 pm

None of that is true.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:12 pm

Actually it is.

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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:21 pm

If you listen to what the BMA says, actually it isn't. And I'd trust doctors over Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron any day of the week.

But keep your nose in the Murdoch press if that makes you feel better.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:41 pm

Yeah as that's what forms my opinion Rolling Eyes

One day you might actually have an opinion not generated by the media Wink

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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:53 pm

That makes absolutely no sense. Read what the doctors are asking for, then come back.

It's not about money.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 05 May 2016, 2:58 pm

Pr4wn wrote:That makes absolutely no sense. Read what the doctors are asking for, then come back.

It's not about money.

I have been involved in industrial action lately - a grievance all to do with safety in the workplace. However, it did not stop the company and media trying to paint the work-force as money-grabbing individuals when they couldn't be further from the truth. Now I do not know the full ins and outs of this dispute but it would not surprise me in the slightest if the facts were being distorted.
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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 05 May 2016, 3:00 pm

The doctors have already proposed a no-cost alternative but the government won't budge.

The fact that the Health Secretary co-authored a book on NHS privatisation is probably completely unrelated to this dispute, though.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 05 May 2016, 3:08 pm

Pr4wn wrote:If you listen to what the BMA says, actually it isn't. And I'd trust doctors over Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron any day of the week.

But keep your nose in the Murdoch press if that makes you feel better.

Trust doctors, don't trust trade unions (BMA included) any more than I do Hunt.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 05 May 2016, 3:11 pm

Pr4wn wrote:That makes absolutely no sense. Read what the doctors are asking for, then come back.

It's not about money.

Already been shown that if Hunt had agreed the saturday pay BMA would've recommended the deal and this would all be over.

So yes, like all things involving trade unions, it is about pay. Perhaps not exclusively, and the actual Drs concerns may be legitimate, but let's not pretend that pay is an irrelevant afterthought.

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Post by Pr4wn on Thu 05 May 2016, 3:21 pm

Think of the wider picture. I know multiple NHS doctors from my university days and none of them say that this is anything to do with pay. The Saturday pay negotiations failed because the government proposed nothing to lessen the already excessive workload on doctors. If Hunt fails to offer anything that sorts this out, the negotiations will collapse again.

Note that the negotiations have resumed today with the BMA agreeing to discuss Saturday pay.

Just out of curiosity, Toppy, how would you feel if your employer wanted you to work longer hours for less money?

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 May 2016, 3:57 pm

Pr4wn wrote:That makes absolutely no sense. Read what the doctors are asking for, then come back.

It's not about money.

I could read what 'doctors' are asking for or speak to former colleagues of mine who are junior doctors in the NHS. Let me get back to you on that one.

It is about money. From both sides. I don't agree how the government have labelled it as 'Saving Lives' but equally I don't agree that the doctors are saying it's not about pay. Let me put this in figures term. Say for example you have a grade 1 junior doctor starting at the £27K pa salary. Their hourly rate will be £14.06. Now contractually they are only supposed to do an extra 8 hours per week. Now those additional 8 hours would be paid at time and half plus 50% which now bumps that up to £22.59 per hour. Now say that junior doctor does the 8 additional hours per week for the year, he/she will on those additional hours would've earned an extra £8,674.56. Under the new contract, that would equate to £5,399.04. I now some junior doctors are pushing more than that, but either way something has to give.

It's similar with what they are doing with nursing shifts. Trying to restrict the premium they pay on those working hours.

I have worked in both corporate and clinical areas in the NHS. I don't need media to tell me what's going on!

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 05 May 2016, 5:05 pm

Pr4wn wrote:Think of the wider picture. I know multiple NHS doctors from my university days and none of them say that this is anything to do with pay. The Saturday pay negotiations failed because the government proposed nothing to lessen the already excessive workload on doctors. If Hunt fails to offer anything that sorts this out, the negotiations will collapse again.

Note that the negotiations have resumed today with the BMA agreeing to discuss Saturday pay.

Just out of curiosity, Toppy, how would you feel if your employer wanted you to work longer hours for less money?

Happens all the time. It's called working in the private sector and not relying on a bully boy trade union to fight your battles.

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