Latest post of the previous page:Why are NHS doctors furious about their new contracts?
The most dangerous and demoralising aspect of the contract isn’t actually the pay cut, but the changes to our working conditions. Incredibly, Saturday no longer counts as the weekend, and will from next August be paid only at basic rate. This paves the way for hospitals to force us to work as many Saturdays as they please, now any financial disincentive not to do so has been removed. Even before these changes, I already work every other Saturday. According to the government we also no longer deserve higher rate antisocial hours pay for working evenings, unless we stay later than 10pm. Breaks will be cut to just 20 minutes every 6 hours.
Most disturbingly of all, hospitals will no longer be penalised for forcing doctors to stay well beyond their contracted hours, working for longer than what was previously considered fair or safe. Doctors working overtime will lose any right to be paid for it. I can’t imagine any logical reason for bringing in this change other than to force us to work dangerous extra hours for free, sacrificing patient safety and staff wellbeing in the interests of cost saving.
The Government are referring to this contract as being for “junior” doctors. To most members of the public this implies a carefree 24 year old just out of med school, but in fact junior by this definition includes all doctors at any stage of their training who have not yet made it all the way to consultant or GP. It usually takes at least 10 years to become a hospital consultant, sometimes a great deal longer. In reality, our time on this harsh “junior” contract takes us through all of our 20s and much of our 30s. The earliest I could possibly hope to escape is by age 34, and that’s if I dutifully jump through the many hoops, pass all postgraduate exams in time, give up my dream of taking time out to do humanitarian work and most importantly, don’t have kids.