A non-partisan offer, with cross party support, was presented to the Health Secretary, in an attempt to stop the strikes.
His response was to call them “opportunistic”.
It is with a heavy heart that we junior doctors withold our services. It is not what we wanted to do – no-one wanted to give up their job in order to fight a legal battle against the contract; no-one wanted to strike; no-one wanted to sleep outside the department of health for 24 hours to try to persuade Jeremy Hunt to get back round the negotiating table.
But enough is enough and junior doctors around the UK have walked in protest at the imposition of the new unsafe, unfair contract. This is an unprecedented strike and the responsibility should be put squarely at the door of the Health Secretary for letting it happen.
To our patients:
If you have a medical emergency, please still go to A&E and your GP – hospitals have had several weeks to plan for this day and your emergency care will be provided by a consultant.
Thank you to the public showing us your support; thank you to the consultants providing consultant cover to ensure the public still get emergency care; thank you to our colleagues fighting in other ways.
The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it – Bevan (founder of the NHS)