As the date for potential strike action draws closer, it’s essential Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt takes meaningful steps to address the legitimate concerns of junior doctors. His recent offer on basic pay does not go nearly far enough.
Under this new deal, junior doctors will work even more unsociable hours in stressful conditions. This means what looks like an 11% pay increase is tantamount to a pay cut.
The Health Secretary has repeatedly refused to offer any assurances that junior doctors working more than 56 hours a week - as many do - will not see their pay cut. The Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, Norman Lamb, has pressed him on this point in both a Parliamentary debate and a letter last week.
This is not just a debate about pay. A commitment that the Care Quality Commission will monitor junior doctors’ working hours is welcome, but the Lib Dems want details of exactly how new safeguards will work so they protect staff and patients effectively.
11th November 2015