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Dr Clive Peedell quoted in the Western Gazette on junior doctors’ strike

http://www.westerngazette.co.uk/Operations-cancelled-Yeovil-District-Hospital/story-28701421-detail/story.htm

By Western Gazette - Yeovil  |  Posted: February 09, 2016

On Wednesday, 10 February at 8am junior doctors are due to strike over contract disputes concerning Jeremy Hunt's desire for a 24/7 NHS.

The strike by members of the British Medical Association (BMA) is due to last exactly 24 hours up until Thursday, 11 February at 8am.

As things stand at 6pm on Tuesday, February 9 three outpatient clinics and six operations have been cancelled at YDH.

The primary issue is over weekend pay and whether Saturdays should be classified as normal time or attract a premium.

Mr Hunt wants Saturdays to become part of junior doctor's normal working hours but the BMA disagrees and says that the proposed new contract for junior doctors' could put patients at risk in the hands of over-worked and tired staff due to the limits on excessive working hours being lifted.

A spokesperson for YDH said: "We are working with our junior doctors and senior clinical staff to minimise the impact of tomorrow's strike upon care at Yeovil Hospital. However, it has been necessary to postpone some clinics and theatre appointments.

"As things stand, we have cancelled three outpatient clinics and six operations.

"We are contacting those patients whose appointments are affected, but those who are not contacted should attend the hospital as planned."

The National Health Action Party, which was co-founded by Dr Clive Peedell and Dr Richard Taylor in 2012, is strongly behind the strike action.

Dr Clive Peedell said: "There are real fears that Jeremy Hunt's response to this week's strike will be to go ahead and impose the unsafe and unfair '24/7' contract.

"No Secretary of State for Health with a real concern for the people and an ability to use evidence based policy could possibly make that choice at this point.

"The NHS has always been a deeply political issue but this situation has gone beyond the realm of political conviction into an obstinate demand that defies logic and evidence.

"A week ago Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority issued an instruction to reduce staffing, almost three years after ministers ordered hospitals to do the opposite.

"We need the correct staffing levels to maintain patient safety which was the lesson from the Francis report.

"But this government will allow patient safety to be jeopardised in the pursuit of further cuts."

Government officials and the BMA are currently locked in last-ditch talks in a bid to avert the strike action.

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