What does the Doctors Strike Mean for Nurses?

Tens of thousands of junior doctors took to the streets of London today in a protest against the proposed changes their contracts. What are the proposed changes and how will they effect Nurses?

The NHS is overworked and underfunded. Everyone who works in the NHS goes the extra mile and stay for hours after their shift has finished. Why? Because they care about their patients. According to the Royal College of Physicians the NHS has been running on the ‘goodwill’ of staff for years. The government refuses to admit there is even in a problem with the NHS at present.

It’s not just about the money. Junior Doctors, like Nurses work hard, but the proposed changes mean that Doctors will be asked to work longer hours will less safeguards in place. This could mean your patients are put at risk and treated by tired, overworked Doctors. It also means that these changes could be rolled out to all healthcare professionals.

It’s also about the money. Junior Doctors, will on average, take around a 30% paycut due to changes in their unsociable hours payout. The government has suggested that Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm are ‘normal working hours’ and therefore shouldn’t be paid at a ‘premium’ – which is strange considering MPs just reduced their own working hours and increased their own pay. It is likely these changes would be rolled out to the Agenda for Change program if accepted by the medical staff.

There was no negotiation. The government tried to impose these changes on Doctors without a proper consultation. The BMA walked away from the negotiations just over a year ago because they stipulated every clause as ‘non-negotiable’. It is likely Nurses will be put in a similar position sometime soon with the RCN and Unison spearheading ‘negotiations’.

There will be a strike. Although a great show of solidarity Jeremy Hunt is unlikely to back down. Doctors are not taking strike action lightly. Emergency and essential services would remain covered. The BMA ballot next month on if strike action is to go ahead. It is likely that Junior Doctors will go on strike within the next year.

Would you support the Doctors strike? Do you think Nurses should consider the same action as Doctors?