This Wednesday, Jeremy Hunt gave a guarantee to junior doctors that “no junior doctor will see their pay cut compared to their current contract”. Just a few hours later, he was forced to admit that those working the longest hours actually would in fact see their pay cut after all.
Jeremy Hunt wrote a letter to junior doctors that said:
Today in the House of Commons I am giving a firm guarantee on behalf of the Government that no junior doctor will see their pay cut compared to their current contract.
He repeated the claim in a speech to MPs and on Twitter:
Confirmed in Parliament today that not a single junior dr will get a pay cut compared to their current contract: https://t.co/VrXMij5P5V
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) October 28, 2015
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
But yesterday morning, when pushed by a BBC Breakfast presenter, he admitted that junior doctors working the longest hours will in fact still face a pay cut:
There’s a very small minority of doctors who will be working more than an average of 56 hours and at the moment they get paid what’s called colloquially in the NHS ‘danger money’. We think that’s wrong: actually, we shouldn’t be allowing that to happen; it’s not safe for patients and, frankly, I’m not sure it’s safe for doctors either. But what we are saying is that for the vast majority of doctors who are working within the legal limit there will be no pay cut. We’ll make sure that happens.
It turns out the promise will only apply to doctors working up to 56 hours a week; those forced by their employers to work up to the new legal limit of 72 hours will be left short.
The British Medical Association (BMA) was not impressed. Neither was Twitter:
— Dee Van de Camp (@deevandecamp) October 29, 2015
— Ranj Singh (@DrRanj) October 29, 2015
— Trisha Greenhalgh #PeoplesVote (@trishgreenhalgh) October 29, 2015
Over recent weeks, Jeremy Hunt has tried several tactics to make the junior doctors problem go away. He’s patronised them, insulted them and now, with the BMA due to open a ballot on industrial action next week, he’s tried placating them with half truths. The only thing he hasn’t yet tried is listening to them. Perhaps he should.
Featured image via Garry Knight/Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?