19/11/2015 Daily Politics


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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?


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And, on International Men's Day, who's issues are taken more


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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a 7 day NHS, arguing the current arrangements are 'outdated'.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


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