A junior doctor’s plea to David Cameron: Stop your seven-day NHS vanity project

‘We know that it is completely un-modelled. It is going to be understaffed. It is underfunded.’

Junior doctors are striking for a second day on Thursday as part of a 48-hour walkout over the Government’s imposed contract.

More than 10,000 junior doctors walked out on Wednesday; including Dr Paola Rodriguez, a trainee GP at Colchester Hospital in Essex.

Dr Rodriguez has called on the Prime Minister to end his “vanity project”.

“He promised us a properly funded service with enough doctors and enough nurses. Unfortunately, we know that it is completely un-modelled. It is going to be understaffed. It is underfunded.

“As a clinician, I believe in evidence and I call upon the government to properly review its seven day NHS policy and look into how much it will cost us and how much extra staff we need.

“At a time of extreme financial pressure on Trusts, we have to ask ourselves whether it is financially viable to stretch our NHS to seven days when we can’t even manage five days properly.”

Dr Rodriguez was joined by several colleagues on the picket line; here are their reasons for walking out.

Dr Hannah Law, ST6, Obstetrics and Gynaecology


“I work 24/7 delivering babies and we already provide a 24/7 service and we are disappointed the Department of Health aren’t recognising that.

"I am a mother of two children and a less than full-time trainee; the new contract proposals are very detrimental to in particular less than full-time trainees and women taking time out on maternity leave.”

Dr Rebecca Warrington, FY1​


“There are serious concerns about the fact that there isn’t the staffing or the funding to actually enforce a seven-day NHS; which is largely about putting non-emergency procedures at the weekend.”

Dr Babu Karavadra, ST1, Obstetrics and Gynaecology


“First and foremost, this contract will lead to patient safety issues.

Secondly, this contract is not based on any evidence. The information the government are using has been misrepresented and misused.”