People of England, Monday April 25, 2016.
Good evening once again.
I find myself posting to you on the verge of an important yet regrettable day. Tomorrow and Wednesday, there will be a full walk out by junior doctors in England between 8AM and 5PM. This is in protest of an unfair and unsafe contract that the government decided to impose on them.
I'm sat in clinic in this picture, but tomorrow I won't be there. I'll be in my consultant greens, carrying the crash bleep and manning the acute assessment unit.
Let me make one thing very clear.
Emergency service in hospitals will go on as usual. Consultants, non-training grade doctors supported by nurses, pharmacists, clinical support workers and other health professionals will ensure that you will receive emergency care should you require it.
At our hospital, covering acute medicine alone, will be a team of consultant physicians with over 150 years of medical experience combined. We have full confidence that you will continue to have world class care over the next two days.
If you should fall ill, please do not be hesitant to seek help. Hospitals, GP surgeries, Urgent Care Centres and NHS 111 will be on hand like we are everyday to help you. Please help spread this message by sharing or tweeting.
To my junior doctor colleagues, we have your back so you can fight the good fight, take this opportunity to show the public your passion, and to show Mr Hunt and the Government how wrong they are.
Good luck, and see you on the other side.
Dr Philip Lee
Consultant Physician in Acute Medicine and Care of the Elderly
Please give me 3 minutes of your time to read this letter, which explains what is really going on with the junior doctor strike and what it is all about.
I am really worried that people are believing the deceit and spin from the government and their cronies in the press. But the truth of the matter is so different to what they have been saying. Please read this short message from someone on the front line who knows the truth:
1.No one wants a strike. Especially not our junior doctors. They have promised to call off the strike if the government stop imposition of a contract which is not safe for patients and not fair for doctors. The government have refused and are putting political ideology in front of patient care. They could stop the strike now with one phone call.
2. Consultants and other senior doctors will be covering, so no harm should come to our patients because of the strike. The vast majority of senior doctors including myself support our juniors. We know why they are striking - to protect our NHS in the longer term.
3. Operations and clinics will be delayed and that is awful for those affected. But 1000s more operations have been delayed this years because of a bed crisis and underfunding, compared to the delays to elective care caused by the strikes.
4. The juniors are not striking because of pay - but because the new contract discriminates against female doctors, discriminate against those who work in specialities delivering care outside of 9-5 and will lead to an exodus of doctors from the NHS. It will make weekend emergency cover much harder to deliver because of a lack of doctors and patients will suffer.
5. Scotland and Wales NHS know this to be the case and are thus not going down this route of these changes of their Junior Doctors' contracts.
6. The junior doctor crisis is already here. Because of the way they are being treated, many are leaving the NHS. Rota gaps are now very common and patients are being put at risk because of this. Indeed an A&E in Lancashire had to downgrade from a full A&E at night as there was not enough junior doctors to staff the A&E department 24/7.
7. The biggest threat to the NHS is what happens when our disillusioned and depressed juniors decide to up sticks and leave their jobs when they rotate in August. We can cope with a short strike; we can't cope with an exodus of junior doctors in August.
8. We have 3 days till the strike starts. 3 days till we lose the goodwill of 54,000 junior doctors. Without this goodwill we cannot care for our patients as well as we do. Please email/write to your government MPs to put pressure on Hunt and Cameron to change their minds before it is too late. Please join demonstrations. Please help us change their minds.
We can only hope that even though they may not listen to NHS staff on the front line who know what is happening, they may listen to their voters.
This is the truth as I see it. I am someone who will not be personally affected by a new contract, but someone who cares passionately about his staff, his patients and the NHS.
Please share and tweet so that people know the truth.
(A very concerned A&E consultant)
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