#Notfairnotsafe – We support the junior doctors’ contract protest in Leeds 28 October

Here is info about the junior doctors’ protest in Leeds this evening. Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS supports the junior doctors in their battle with Jeremy Hunt for patient safety and decent working terms and conditions.

Jeremy Hunt’s proposed new contract for junior doctors does a great disservice to them, to the NHS and to the patients they care for.

Doctors – and other NHS staff – are already struggling to protect patient comfort and safety from the effects of below-inflation NHS funding, huge “efficiency” cuts to hospital services and the massive top down reorganisation created by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

In a short staffed and under-resourced NHS, often doctors and other staff work far beyond the hours they’re paid for in order to make sure patient care doesn’t suffer.

We think that as a key part of his NHS privatisation plan, Hunt is trying to increase and normalise 24/7 planned care by cutting doctors’ overtime pay for anti-social hours. This would make 24/7 planned care profitable, and encourage private companies to bid for contracts to provide it.

Hunt should value, junior doctors’ commitment, skills and hard work. Instead he seems determined to do battle with them by imposing an effective 30% cut to their modest pay (which starts at around £22-23K) as well as making them work longer hours.  Junior doctors are recent graduates, with student debts of up to £90K. Such a pay cut will make it even harder for them to maintain a normal family life, particularly since they often work long hours at hospitals that may not be near their families.

Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS values the NHS and the staff that keep it going. We support junior doctors in their efforts to refuse and overturn this contract.

The NHS has already got a problem in recruiting and retaining doctors, because of the horrendous pressures created by inadequate funding and stealth privatisation. Hunt seems to be doing his damnedest to make this shortage of doctors worse.

The protest is on Wednesday 28th October, 7pm at Victoria Square (outside the art gallery and The Light Shopping Centre on the Headrow, Leeds.

Speakers at the protest:
– Alistair Hall – Professor of Cardiology (Leeds) and Author of a rebuttal of Freemantle et al’s analysis of Weekend Mortality Statistics
– Harry Leslie Smith – Historian, Activist and Author of ‘Harry’s Last Stand’
– Raymond Tallys – Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine (Manchester) and Author of ‘NHS SOS’
– Dr Zoe Norris – GP Survival Group
– Dr Johann Malawana – Chair of BMA Junior Doctor Committee

The Leeds Junior Doctors say:

NHS Employers and the UK Government need to know we’re not apathetic over the contract issues. By turning up in our droves, they’ll know that we’re taking it seriously and more importantly, giving our full support to the BMA in any potential contract negotiations. Social media rants are fine, but we need to be visible.

There is also a candlelit vigil from 6-7pm outside Leeds General Infirmary nearby from 6 – 7 , organised by Leeds Keep Our NHS Public (KONP).  They are asking people to join them at 6pm outside the entrance to the Brotherton Wing of LGI directly opposite Millennium Square, and to bring lanterns, candles and home made placards. They hope for enough people to ring the building. At a time that fits with the speeches outside the Art Gallery the plan is to then make a candlelit procession down from the LGI to join the back of the protest or ring them too!
The fb event page for the vigil is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1508852242769062/

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