Junior doctors from across the region are among thousands who've been demonstrating against plans to change their contracts. The doctors say the Government's new deal would mean them working longer hours for less pay, reducing what they're paid for working night shifts and weekends. John Ryall met some of the demonstrators as they left Brighton railway station for London
Doctors from across the Meridian region have joined a protest march in London against plans which they say will see them working longer hours for less pay. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to reclassify doctors' normal working week to include Saturdays and late evening working. They say it could mean pay cuts of up to 30%, with "normal hours" reclassified as being from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. Extra payments for unsociable working will be earned only outside of these times, rather than the current arrangements of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday. Erica Pool is a junior doctor at Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and Amaran Cumarasny a medical student.
Junior doctors from across the region have been gathering for a protest against planned changes to their contracts.
A demonstration was held outside Brighton railway station by some junior doctors ahead of their journey to the capital for the main demonstration through the centre of London.
Labour's shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander is expected to call on Jeremy Hunt to "stop the high-handed demands" on junior doctors at a rally against proposed contract changes.
She will say:
It’s wrong that this Government is OK with the idea of paying some junior doctors less to do the work they do now. They’re wrong to want to remove the safeguards which prevent junior doctors from having to work excessive and exhausting hours. And they’re wrong to punish staff for their own financial mismanagement of the NHS. Nobody wants to see industrial action but nobody wants junior doctors too exhausted to provide safe patient care either.
I have a simple message for Jeremy Hunt today. Stop the high-handed demands, show you are prepared to compromise and put patient safety ahead of politics. The ball is in his court. He needs to listen to junior doctors and he needs to recognise public concern.
Dr Johann Malawana,chairman of the British Medical Council's junior doctors' committee, has denied the Health Secretary's accusation it has misled doctors over proposed contract changes.
Ahead of a protest rally, he said it would be "a wake-up call for ministers" that pay and working hours reforms are "unacceptable".
In recent weeks the health secretary has acknowledged junior doctors play a vital role in the NHS, which is at odds with his relentless and extremely damaging rhetoric attacking doctors, which has led to the anger on display today.
We have always stated that without the continued threats of imposition and pre-conditions, the BMA would be happy to enter meaningful negotiations. But until the government gives junior doctors the reasonable assurances they are demanding we will continue with our course of action.
Ahead of a march in protest against proposed changes to junior doctor pay and working conditions, an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar has taken to Twitter to explain why "it is too important not to make a noise about".
Under the new contract I could be rota-d to work every Saturday, for a pay cut of up to 40%
We are not 22 year olds with no responsibilities, we are in our thirties and forties with kids, mortgages and bills to pay #notsafenotfair
Health Secretary says he is 'disappointed' at the misrepresentation of government plans ahead of a protest by junior doctors today.Read the full story ›
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