At their February meeting, members of the CLP unanimously passed a motion in support of the junior doctors. Nothing has subsequently changed: Jeremy Hunt is still trying to insist that the junior doctors and the BMA are taking industrial action over pay, whilst the BMA has always insisted the issue is one patient safety. Hunt has also claimed, spuriously, that you are more likely to die if you are admitted into hospital on a weekend, so the issue is one of making the NHS a seven day service. The data on weekend deaths has been shown to be false. The NHS does provide a 7 day service: if you are seriously ill at the weekend, you will be offered all its help and care. What it does not provide over the weekend are routine operations. What Jeremy Hunt has failed to explain is how the same number of staff can be spread over the weekend to provide routine operations and still maintain the same level of care.
Kingston and Surbiton Constituency Labour Party believes in the fundamental principle of the NHS – that quality healthcare should be accessible by all, and free at the point of access – and believes that this would not be possible without the contributions made every day by the dedicated and highly skilled professionals who work in the health service.
We note that within this Parliamentary Constituency there are a number of sites that employ Junior Doctors and believe that these junior doctors are a vital part of the healthcare team that keeps hospitals here and across the country functioning at their best, we believe that without their efforts the NHS would be unable to function.
We also believe that it is only fair that those who are working hard to protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Kingston and Surbiton should be fairly rewarded for their efforts, with appropriate compensation and with adequate safeguards to prevent staff being required to work excessive hours.
We also note the nearly unanimous (98%) support from junior doctors balloted for strike action in response to the proposed new junior doctors’ contract, on a turnout of 76%.
We respect this result and fully support the right of junior doctors to take industrial action, and agree with the British Medical Association’s (BMA) assessment that the proposed new contract is “unsafe for patients and unfair for doctors”.
We believe that a fair and mutually agreeable deal is best reached by negotiation and not by imposition by the Secretary of State for Health.
We have no confidence in the Secretary of State for Health to resolve this issue to the satisfaction of those affected, including staff and patients within the NHS and believe his actions amount to being reckless with our NHS and puts patient care at risk in the service of the Governments self-defeating austerity programme.
We agree to contact local BMA representatives of the Junior Doctors, firstly to offer our support to them in their dispute and to further offer support and assistance to campaign with them in order for them to get their message across to the general public where and when they feel it to be necessary.