Jeremy Hunt lies to junior doctors over pay – again!

Bex Sumner

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:

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:

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 ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed