Friday, April 1, 2016

Who's the fool?

Always. Personally I have ALWAYS followed a simple rule as regards my children. Daughter or son- no difference- but to be given same opportunities, same chances, same amount of love and support. It's never ever been a debate or a fleeting through in my mind. And seeing my daughter on the verge of turning 15, it always fills me with pride to see an independent, young lady growing up- without any doubt in her minds as to whether she will have the same amount of love from her parents in comparison to her brother. No- none whatsoever. Why? Well, apart from it being like the 21st century, I have seen how my parents brought me and my sister up- and throughout my own life, I have always been indebted to women for the roles they have played, the sacrifices they have made, the support they have provided for me to get to where I am. I have always been a fierce supporter of #HeforShe and with good reason too. The fight for equality isn't just for women to fight- its for all right minded men to stand by them and support that.

And I must say yesterday- on the verge of April Fools day, I must admit to being absolutely stunned by what was published as regards the updated junior doctor contract. I won't go into details but the language, the terminology was simply, astounding- simply like an April Fools joke.

I won't go into whats right or wrong about the contract as all logical debate had ceased many moons ago anyway- with a conflation of 7 day working with junior doctors contract- and I watched in astonishment as many leaders, who in person, seem perfectly reasonable, have stood by and allowed this to travel as far as it has. Lets be clear- after all this angst, not a jot will improve as regards weekend safety- which ABSOLUTELY was a very important debate we needed to have- sensibly. We didn't, and buried under hubris and posturing, a significant patient safety issue which should have been up for debate- is now lost in the mists of ego and pay.

However, even if one assumes this is just a pay dispute and nothing else, even with that on the anvil, the disdain shown towards women has been breathtaking. I, as a senior clinician, cannot condemn it strongly enough and for anyone who has women in their lives in whatever shape and form- while being complicit to this- should go home and either continue being a mysogynist dinosaur or say sorry to their mother, wife,girlfriend,daughter or sister for treating them with such disrespect

How is this even possible? Some tell me its ok in the eyes of the law- well then as the saying goes, the law is an ass and needs re-looking. Sounds more like a Whitney Houston song- "Its not right, but its ok" I will be very honest, I don't care what concessions happen, don't happen in the contract- I don't even care much about the Saturday hours on a priority scale- but I do want a contract which puts a man and a woman on an equal scale.

It is a crying shame that in 2016 I am even having to write a blog on a topic which should be consigned to the shameful chapters of history. And any leader who sits on the top trees of the NHS, and have been part of developing this contract- well- do please go and rectify this without delay. When I saw HSJ launch campaigns to have women recognised I joked about how this is needed in 2016. I retract that as now I understand why- its because the NHS is still full of dinosaurs who need to wake up and understand what modern life is all about.

Or please either step down and let someone modern do your job.Or at the very least- take some advice.


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