Why are Junior Doctors Protesting?

Please help support the NHS junior doctors

Lauren Gavaghan

Lauren Gavaghan – Founder


Junior Doctors and the NHS need your support!

On Thursday 19th November 2015, 98% of Junior Doctors balloted voted in favour of strike action. This was an unprecedented ballot result, with Junior Doctors not having gone on strike since the 1970’s. It signified their grave concerns related to the threat of an imposed contract that was felt to be both unfair on them and unsafe for their patients.

Industrial action did not take place in December 2015, with the Government agreeing that they would ‘temporarily’ withdraw their threat of imposition of the new contract. The independent arbitration service ACAS was called in to aid talks.

Some progress was made, though there remained key points of dispute relating primarily to patient and doctor safety, and also fair pay for work done and the definition of ‘social hours’ of working.

Plans for industrial action were therefore re-instated. The first doctors strike in 40 years went ahead on 12th January 2106, with an emergency care model of action being taken. Further days of Industrial action scheduled for 26th-28th January were halted whilst negotiations continued. More Industrial action went ahead on 10th February 2016, initially organised as a full walk-out though changed to an Emergency Care model once again, in view of Doctors feeling it absolutely necessary to minimise disruption to patients.

On 11th February 2016 the Government announced that they would be IMPOSING a contract on 54,000 Junior Doctors in August 2016. Since this time, there has been no negotiation, and further Industrial Action was announced by the BMA, this time, a further 3, 48 hour strikes, again following an Emergency Care model. The first of these took place over 9th-11th March 2016, and the second on 6th-8th April 2016. The BMA announced an escalation of Industrial Action, stating that the strike from 26th-28th April 2016 would be a full walk-out of Junior Doctors. Sadly this unprecedented action went ahead – the first full walk-out of doctors’ labour in the history of the NHS. Despite Junior Doctors pleas to sit down and talk, the Secretary of State for Health announced that his door was shut.

Thankfully, negotiations did eventually resume and were extended from 5 days of talks to 8 days, between 9/5/16 and 18/5/16. A ‘deal’ was made between the BMA and Government and Junior Doctors were provided with a proposed contract to examine and vote on. This referendum period closed on 1st July 2016. The struggle continues.

NO Junior Doctor wants to go on strike, least of all, to carry out a full withdrawal of their labour. However, as a group they feel passionately that the safety of their patients and fair working conditions to doctors remain paramount. They are also deeply concerned about the threat to future of the NHS itself.

WEAR YOUR NHS has been a campaign to demonstrate support for both Junior Doctors and for OUR NHS. We have all been, are, or shall be, patients one day. Wear Your NHS closed the sale of tshirts on June 17th 2016. All remaining monies (that had not been spent on the campaign) were donated to BEAT, the Eating Disorders charity. A full breakdown of costs is available on the blog page.

What we're organising?

We shall support by collectively wearing SUPPORT JUNIOR DOCTORS t-shirts. Designed by none other than the inimitable DAME VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, who has been responsible for some of the most incredible designs known to man and woman, and supported by Ben Westwood.

How to support?

1) Come along and Support Junior Doctors in style

2) Buy your designer t-shirt from here

3) SHARE *1 PHOTOGRAPH* of you wearing your t-shirt…