Fringe Box



Doctors’ Strike Has Low Impact at Royal Surrey County Hospital

Published on: 13 Jan, 2016
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2016

The main entrance of the Royal Surrey County Hospital yesterday afternoon. The picket had been positioned by the far end of the pedestrian crossing.

It appeared to be a only a part-time picket at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) yesterday afternoon (January 12) on the day junior doctors from the hospital took part in the national 24-hour strike, organised by the British Medical Association (BMA).

The junior doctors are taking action against the imposition of a new contract which would give them an 11% pay rise but only in return for new conditions which would leave some, it is claimed, worse off.

According to hospital workers at the main entrance of the hospital, where the picket line had been positioned, the ten doctors who had formed the picket, packed up at 12.30pm, having been in position for just 4½ hours.

A van arrived at 3.30pm apparently to give support with a food delivery for the strikers but had to be to be turned away.

In a statement on the strike the BMA said: “We want a contract that is safe for patients, fair for juniors and good for the NHS. This is not the view of a few as the government would have the public believe: the unprecedented scale of today’s action by junior doctors clearly demonstrates this. It is well past the time for Jeremy Hunt to take account of their fears and frustration and listen to what they are saying.

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health as well as the MP for Godalming, who has threatened to impose the new contract if agreement cannot be reached, said that the strike was unnecessary. The nearest hospital for his constituents is the Royal Surrey.

The overall impact of the strike on Royal Surrey patients was limited according to a hospital spokesperson who tweeted: “Due to the hard work of our staff to minimise disruption we have [only] postponed 151 of the 1600 outpatients appointments scheduled for today,” and “Only 15 operations have been postponed at Royal Surrey today due to industrial action. To those affected, thank you for your understanding.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Richard Wilson, tweeted: “What a mess Jeremy Hunt has made of #juniordoctors contract! Tory incompetence is a danger to the NHS,” a view reported in the national news to be supported by the majority of the public and even some Conservative MPs.

Another hospital worker who did not wish to be named said: “I don’t know why they are striking; they have been offered an 11% pay increase. The hospital porters work the hardest of any of us in the hospital and they had to take a pay cut last year when their job was downgraded.”

The BMA was unable to provide contact details for a local junior doctor to speak on behalf of those who took the RSCH action but a spokesperson did say that it had been planned for some picket lines to stand down at 12.30.

The next proposed strike is a 48-hour one beginning on January 26.

Are you a junior doctor who went on strike or a patient who had treatment postponed? If so, or if you have a view on the strike, please make a comment using the leave a reply feature below.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *