Junior Doctors in Harrogate have once again joined the national strike with medical staff on the Wetherby road near to Harrogate hospital and a group in the town centre. This is the first strike that has included emergency cover.
They received many supportive toots from passing cars, but also a few derogatory shouts.
The Junior Doctors don’t believe that the strike action has put patients at risk as care has been picked-up by Consultants.
Junior Doctor, Deborah Goldfield said:
The government have had 6 weeks to plan and put in place contingency for this strike.
The reality of today is that many will be seeing the most highly trained staff in the hospital, the consultants. There hasn’t been any risk to patients, although the government has been scaremongering.
On the question of the reasons for the strike and if there are financial drivers.
Deborah Goldfield said:
The opposition to the new contract terms has never been about money, although we do believe that there will be an overall reduction in pay.
We are concerned about patient safety. We work to the hippocratic oath and that means we need to uphold certain ethical standards. We don’t believe under the proposed contract that we would be able to do that.
The proposed changes in working patterns would allow for much longer hours, akin to a lorry driving being able to drive for as long or as far as they liked – we believe that it would lead to mistakes and cost lives.
The doctors are hugely demoralised and are fighting their corner for their working conditions. The doctors believe that this is the tip of a very big iceberg of changes that are on the way. They believe that changes would follow that would affect nurses being part of a steady move in packaging the NHS up in a way that it could transition into privatisation.
An interview has been requested with Harrogate Hospital and although not declined, it has so far not been facilitated.
The strike will continue on Wednesday, 27 April 2016.