Dear Jeremy Hunt MP,
I am a newly appointed NHS Consultant and receive £313.54
for my on call supplement per month. My on calls per month add approximately
120 hours of work in addition to my normal working week. This is made up
of being on call one day per week and one weekend in 5 - 5pm on Friday to 8am
on Monday. Simple maths says that works out as £2.61 per hour - significantly
less than the minimum wage let alone the living wage.
I have never looked to opt out, even though financially it
would make sense. I am genuinely offended that you have openly questioned my
professionalism and vocation or that of my colleagues. I am no different to the
thousands of Consultants, Junior Doctors, Nurses, Physios, Pharmacists, Secretaries,
Speech Therapists, etc. We don't go on strike, we don't hold the country to
ransom, we don't compromise patient care because we were meant to go home 2
hours ago, instead we go above and beyond, understanding the true meaning of
professionalism and being exemplar to any health service in the world. Without
this silent and diligent commitment, the NHS would have crumbled many years
Would you mind enlightening me as to the percentage of
Consultants within the NHS who have actively opted out of weekend work? I have
looked on the Department of health Website, on NHS England and can find no
details on this, or further information regarding your plans for implementing 7
It is self evident that either your expert advisers are
missing or your speech writers incompetent. As a workforce we are very
understanding and forgiving. We are often verbally and even physically abused
by people who are confused and clearly don't understand how they got into such
a state; we forgive them and do our best to fix them. I would urge you to
simply apologise for the language you have used, and look to engage in a
conversation rather than an ultimatum.
I, my colleagues and
the Royal Colleges and agree with the principle of the NHS working efficiently
every day of the week. The NHS has spoken clearly that the current proposals do
not address the problem, and are not a viable solution.
For further information on how completely inept Hunt is, see this coverage of his history in government.