Alison McGovern MP

Wirral South

Health Secretary must listen to junior doctors over calls for mediation

As I write this week’s column George Osborne will not yet have delivered his Autumn Statement. This will taking place on Wednesday 25 November. With deeply worrying police cuts which will impact on Merseyside on the horizon and the controversy surrounding the cuts to tax credits I will be listening intently to what he has to say about these issues and his wider plans for government spending.

Last month I met with junior doctors to discuss their concerns surrounding the government plans to change their contract. Following the meeting I relayed these concerns to the Health Secretary in a letter. The meeting was held after many Wirral based junior doctors got in contact with me about their objections to the changes.

Junior doctors like all NHS staff perform a vital job and it is crucial that their work is not compromised in any way. We need to value the work performed my medical staff and enable them to work within conditions they see as fair and safe.

Last week it was announced that junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action by a resounding 98% in response to Jeremy Hunt’s proposals. It is clear that for the sake of staff and patients that Jeremy Hunt needs to rethink his position. The strikes, planned to take place in December, reflect junior doctors legitimate concerns around safety and the unfair nature of the proposed new conditions.

They work on the frontline and they know best when it comes to the challenges faced within the NHS. This is why I urge Jeremy Hunt to make more efforts to resolve this escalating situation including taking seriously calls to bring in a third party negotiator.

Nobody wants to see disruption within the NHS but this is clearly a last resort decision taken by junior doctors because the Health Secretary has so far not listened to the mass concern that has been expressed so far. I know that the junior drs will want a resolve to this situation so they can get on with the job that matters so much to them without having to fight the government about what they see as getting a fair deal.

Written for the Wirral News 

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