Junior Doctors’ Contracts

Part of Opposition Day — [8th allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 5:11 pm on 28th October 2015.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Health) 5:11 pm, 28th October 2015

I totally agree with that.

As mentioned on both sides of the House, people do not work in an NHS hospital to make a lot of money. It is not high up the list of ways for the smartest people in our country to make money; it is a vocation, which means we have a responsibility not to exploit them. The Secretary of State says that no one will lose money, but what will happen to the people who start next August? After the first hours change, when I started my surgical career in Belfast, the “two in three” rota—every third evening off and no weekends off for a year—was no longer legal, and the hospital henceforth considered extra hours to be voluntary service. The NHS is a hierarchical organisation, bullying exists within it, and the junior doctor is in a weak position. These safeguards have worked well for a long time, and I would be reluctant to see them go.