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Views from the frontline: reactions to the strike suspension

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 08 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4845
  1. Tom Moberly
  1. BMJ Careers

Consultants, GPs, and trainees respond to the BMA’s announcement that next week’s strike action has been suspended. Tom Moberly reports

Richard Thomson, consultant gastroenterologist and physician educator, Northumberland

“I sense that there was a great deal of unease among trainees at the latest round of strike action—a deep reluctance to get bogged down in trench warfare when all they really want to do is get on with doctoring. To me, this dispute is in essence emotional; when Jeremy Hunt chose to question trainees’ sense of vocation he lit the blue touch paper for the #iminworkjeremy campaign.”

Tom Oates, year 8 specialty trainee in nephrology and general medicine, London

“My personal view is that further strikes will be met with more resistance by the public and by doctors, especially in the absence of a re-ballot. Both the BMA and Jeremy Hunt seem to have lost focus on a resolution and replaced it with a focus on how to destabilise each other’s position. Fresh faces or third parties may be the best way to ensure resolution returns to prominence.”

Ed Schwarz, GP trainee, Cornwall

“The current situation could easily be resolved by removing the threat of imposition and then re-entering negotiations and ensuring that the contract is fair and safe. Failing that, in place of strikes I think that all junior doctors should email their employers stating that they do not agree with the new contract and that any safety matters that occur as a result of these new contracts are solely the employer’s responsibility. I am not sure further strikes are going to add to our cause, and five day strikes will alter public support.” …

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