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Afternoon folks, and welcome to the Daily Politics.
Almost 40,000 junior doctors have voted to go on strike for four days
Are they putting patients' lives at risk?
The Lords have voted for 16 and 17 year olds to have a right to vote
But could their inclusion skew the result?
Nicola Sturgeon indicates that she's in listening mode on whether British
warplanes should bomb IS in Syria - could SNP votes help the PM get
And, on International Men's Day, who's issues are taken more
Because I think we talk a lot about women's issues these days, we don't
I don't even know what a men's issue is, but we never hear about it.
All that in the next hour and with us for the whole
of the programme today is the broadcaster and Labour Peer, Joan
First this morning, a ballot of 40,000 junior doctors
has voted decisively to go out on strike for three days in December.
Under the plan, junior doctors will provide
"emergency care only" action for 24 hours on December 1st, followed
by a full walk out from 8am to 5pm on December 8th and December 16th.
The strike has been called in response to a new contract that
It looks like it could be a tricky winter for Jeremy Hunt.
The new contract is part of the Government's plan to introduce
a 7 day NHS, arguing the current arrangements are 'outdated'.
Currently a junior doctors' normal hours are considered to be from 7
in the morning to 7 in the evening Monday to Friday.
Mr Hunt wants to change that to 7 in the morning to 10
in the evening Monday to Friday, and 7-7 on Saturdays.
In order to sweeten the pill, doctors are being offered
an 11% pay rise, as well as curbs in overtime, and Jeremy Hunt claims
However the BMA argues doctors will be forced to work more anti-social
hours which would affect patient safety,
and they fear the new contract could lead to pay cut in the long term.
Thank you. This news just broke earlier this morning. We got the
word the ballot had been taken. 40,000 doctors. We understand there
was a big turnout and around 98% of them voted to go on strike. Joan
Bakewell, are you surprised by the scale of this vote for strike
Marciello a sensational vote. 98%. Even the unions can't hit that, 98%.
That is absolutely unanimous and I'm not surprised. This is work in
progress. This is a contract that hasn't come to a proper solution.
They want to go to ACAS and probably well but the minister must stay
engaged and continue to negotiate. This will concentrate his mind.
And we're joined now by the Chair of the Health Select Committee, and GP,
Dr Sarah Wollaston and junior doctor Anna Warrington.
I think you've just been on a long shift, is that right? 14 long
shifts. What did they consist of? Out of hours emergency care, looking
after six people who need care in the night and on weekends. 14 days
in a row? Yes, a combination of nights and days. And you won't get
the weekend off? I will. When will you be back on? The following
Monday. You voted for strike action? I did. Have you done so expecting
you will go on strike or to concentrate the government's mind to
think again? I have voted for strike action, hoping that strike action
will not need to be taken, but it is a last resort in a debate with
Jeremy Hunt, who simply has not engaged with junior doctors about
are very valid concerns about this on safe and unfair junior doctors
contract. The changes he wants to make. Putting aside the issue is
just that this question, you have to have made a complete Olic said
something to get 98% of doctors who voted to vote for strike action. I
don't remember when they last went on strike, if ever. Remember, I
don't speak for the government. I understand that. Have they made a
complete mess of it? I think there has been serious misrepresentation
on both sides of the dispute. We saw at the head of your programme
quoting this was going to apply up to 10pm on Saturday. It's not. Some
concessions have been made. It is until seven on Saturday. Saturday no
longer becomes the weekend. A weekend day. It becomes a normal
working day, correct? Yes, but the point I would make is as Anna said
at the beginning, what we don't want to see as junior doctors working
very long hours over extended periods. There are parts of this
negotiation which are about reducing the number of maximum hours. Sorry
to interrupts, I will come onto the substance in a minute. That wasn't
my question. My question was somebody somewhere in government,
perhaps the Secretary of State for Health has badly mishandled this, to
get a ballot in which 98% of people who I can never remember striking
before, voting to go on strike? Absolutely. The point I would make
is there is a breakdown of trust. What both sides are saying, we need
to have some process that restores trust. What would you advise the
government to do? First of all I would say we need to try and avoid a
strike, that would be damaging for patients. I think they should take
every opportunity to get back around the table. The Secretary of State,
it was being asked if he would drop preconditions which he has done, and
now the BMA have come back to say they would like to go through ACAS,
because they haven't had any confidence in the process that was
delivered already by an independent pay review board. Would it be a good
thing? I think rather than having a strike they should seriously
consider that. All right. Anna am are you up for the ACAS route? A
conservatory advisory service? Throughout this entire debate the
BMA have repeatedly asked Jeremy Hunt to engage in fair, level
playing field negotiations with them about this contract. He has
consistently refused to remove the threat of the imposition of this
contract. He essentially says if we do not agree with him, might just
impose it anyway. And in some of that is what he did. This is not a
man who is willing to negotiate in negotiations. I think bringing in a
third party outside body in this case would be advisable because we
have lost faith in him. I do not trust that health Minister, does not
understand what is to be a junior doctor or the interest of the NHS.
He has called me militant and lacking invocations. Personally?
Junior doctors who have taken action as militant. Described as