This article is from the Doctors.net forum a commonly used site by Junior colleagues and highlights some important points. The BMA missing the point with the focus on pay , the problem will be stretching limited 5 day resources into a 7 day routine service when investment is running 3% per year below historical levels and total expenditure still lags behind the rest of the G7 in terms of percentage of GDP.
The Government propaganda machine is extremely powerful ( and not as inept as Jeremy Hunt) and unless there is clarity over the real problem( no increase in resources to fund a 7 day service ) then they will even manage to portray Junior doctors as Golf playing money grabbers …. So strikes over pay will breed hostility , strikes over resources may be more acceptable , and the BMA should be lining up the consultants for a ballot over the stretching of resources and lack of investment ( I suspect they lack the “Cojones” for a fight).
The Government has delivered a “muddled” message on junior doctor contracts, its chief negotiator has said.
Sir David Dalton was brought in as a trouble-shooter to try to break the impasse with junior doctors over the contract.
Yesterday he conceded the British Medical Association had “landed a punch” in calling a successful strike on Tuesday.
But he warned against a “long, dirty war of attrition”, stating that the all-out strike proposed for February would be “disastrous and unprecedented.”
He made his comments in an interview with the Health Service Journal before going into talks organised by arbitrators Acas.
In his comments, he indicated he agreed with the BMA that changing the junior doctor contract was not the key to delivering seven day services.
He said: “My assessment is that the staff group that will have to contribute the least above that which they are providing at the moment would be our doctors in training. Our messaging on this has got muddled.
“The fact that has not been made clear at the outset has been received as a criticism of the contribution that trainees make.
“We should be saying safe reliable care across seven days is our aim and not single out this as an issue that only affects medical trainees. It is the whole system that needs to re-orientate itself.”
He said “people” should think carefully about what they wanted to achieve, adding: “If you believe as I do that having contented staff, who have good morale, provide better care and better outcomes to patients then the situation we have now is loaded with risk with people who are unhappy with their lots, who don’t feel valued and who are less able to provide high standards of care.”
Talks are due to continue for a second day today and Acas will be hoping to broker a deal to avoid the next strike day, scheduled for 26 January.