All my colleagues and I are talking about at the moment is the junior contract.
My enthusiasm for working in medicine, at least in the NHS, is in danger of drying up. I have no interest in working in an organisation which treats its staff so poorly. Patient safety is clearly nothing more than a buzzword for NHS Employers, the DoH and the government. Tired doctors make bad decisions. Doctors who cannot pay their mortgages and bills because they are preoccupied about pay also make bad decisions.
We have had an attempt at reassurance this week from the Health Secretary. The general opinion of this is that it is loosely worded and seems to be an attempt to get the BMA back to negotiations while offering no concrete assurances on pay and conditions.
There is support for our plight from every corner. Consultants are all supportive, as are nurses and ODPs.
Although anaesthetics is a decent job which I enjoy, and the only specialty of medicine I would contemplate doing, I wish I’d done an F3 year and locumed instead. I’d be better off and not committed to a training programme with things as uncertain as this.
It’s hard to find much to be positive about. I’d intended to sit the primary FRCA next year and start studying for that, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Friends further up have lost enthusiasm for revision, exams and career progression – what is the point? One used to use Twitter for education – now all they can think about is this contract. Such stress is the last distraction we need when we have to concentrate at work. All my colleagues are planning their exit from the NHS and who can blame them?
All we can do now is unite as a profession and with the support of our colleagues, vote to strike unless the appropriate reassurances are made. We fully support the BMA and I am sure this support will be felt at the various events around the country over the coming weeks. I and my colleagues will be at the event in London on Saturday 17 October making our feelings known.