Junior doctor calls Jeremy Hunt a 'liar' over claims strike will endanger patient safety

Unnamed doctor says he will personally 'make sure' anyone admitted to A&E during the strike would be safe

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 26 February 2016 12:16
Passionate junior doctor on Question Time

A junior doctor has branded the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt a "liar" over claims the planned strike risks patient safety.

The unnamed doctor vowed "make sure [people] are safe" during the next wave of strikes due to start next month after talks between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association broke down.

He rallied against the assertion made by Conservative peer Lord Julian Fellowes that there are 11,000 more deaths at the weekend and that he would not want to take his mother to hospital when the strike was on.

The medic said Mr Hunt was "lying about what happens in hospitals".

He said: "The stats are wrong. 11,000 people do not die at the weekend. The stats cover Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. They do not die at the weekend.

"If junior doctor staffing at the weekend was a problem, they would be dying at the weekend. They do not. The highest death rate in hospitals is on a Wednesday.

"You have more doctors on a Wednesday than you do on a Saturday and a Sunday. It is not a 'weekend effect'."

He said he was working as the doctor on-call during the next two 48-hour strikes, which are scheduled to start on 9 March and 6 April.

He said he will look after "each and every one of you when you come in" and will "make sure" no one is at risk.

Junior Doctors Contract

Junior doctors say the new contract - which Mr Hunt has said he will "unilaterally" impose - is unfair and "unsafe for patients" as it redefines what is classed as "anti-social" hours.

The terms will mean overtime pay will only kick in after 7pm and on Sundays.

Junior doctors protest outside St Thomas Hospital in London

Mr Hunt said the new contract was necessary to deliver on the Conservative manifesto promise to create a "seven-day a week" NHS.

He initially promised in Parliament that no junior doctor would be forced to work consecutive weekends but NHS Employers - the organisation that looks after the interests of NHS bosses - was forced to backtrack and say doctors would not be forced to work more than one in two weekends on average.

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