Today, following a call from all 22 Royal Colleges, the BMA has agreed to halt possibility of strike action for 5 days and Hunt has ‘postponed imposition’. The second point needs a bit of clarification. Hunt hasn’t actually postponed anything in reality as, the contract is not due to be imposed next week, so, as far as I can tell, this is a pretty empty gesture.
It is at least a gesture though, which is marginally more than he has been doing of late. Of course he’s been saying that the BMA have been naughty and refusing to negotiate, but for weeks not the BMA had said that if imposition were taken off the table, they would pause IA to have meaningful negotiations.
Funnily enough my mum text me today saying that my nan had heard something on the news, and that perhaps my campaigning was having an effect. I sincerely doubt that to be true as I suspect the 22 Royal Colleges have somewhat more sway that 1 NHS patient.
It would be nice to think that despite the gesture probably being empty that some some sort of resolution will be found, but I have my doubts. Perhaps I’m just being cynical, but the timing of the whole thing reeks of trying to grab back some last minute votes.
So, fine, perhaps Hunt might finally (briefly) get back to the negotiating table, if so, I urge this:
Work WITH our doctors for a contract that works to fill rota gaps, not create them. Work WITH our doctors on a contract that encourages doctors to work in our wonderful healthcare system rather than leaving it. Work WITH our doctors for a contract that does not discriminate based on gender, disability or wanting to further medicine through research.
Mr Hunt, we need a contract that is right for doctors, right for patients and right for the future of the NHS.
Perhaps I will always be a little cynical of you intentions in the long-term with our NHS. It’s probably because you co-authored a book saying it should be denationalised, but please, prove me wrong, save the NHS by asking the people on the front line how it can be improved.