Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Enough. Just enough. This has now gone far too long- yup- its the whole junior doctopr fracas- and we are now at yet another crossroad - of perhaps an opportunity...so I am going to use this blog to implore- NOT my junior doctor colleagues but to many others within the NHS to get a bit more involved to help resolve this.

Lets get something pretty straight. A 5 day strike with less than 2 weeks notice wasnt the brightest idea- and forget about the points to be made to the government- this was more about testing the seniors as regards what they can do to keep patients safe. Those 5 days would have been tough- would it have been unsafe- well, its all areas of conjecture- there is no precedence for it- and in Star trek speak- its indeed a bit like "Going where no doctor has gone before". Anyway, we can criticise the BMA for all we want but lets also laud them for making the right decision on this instance. It's a moment in time, an opportunity- or one more opportunity to resolve this ugly acrimonious fracas.

So this blog is to all NHS leaders or even media with influence in "higher circles" ( yes thats you HSJ)- yes- those ones who make their way on to lists, attend the glitzy award ceremonies, tweet, write blogs, run organisations...drop the cuddly chat, drop the theorising about compassion, empathy- and get a bit more involved. You are important enough, know enough people- well, go and say to NHS Employers and DH- please, do go back to the table with the BMA. Did you say "why? Well- at the very least, to give peace a chance, ask the BMA what they want, have an adult conversation behind closed doors, try again- do whatevers needed to stop a 5 day strike in October.

Be a bit less biased- drop that chip on your shoulder about doctors or your hate towards a union- and be a leader. Powerpoints, degrees do not make a leader- if you GENUINELY believe in patient safety, forget the circular debates about who has the better argument- just try to help resolve this- altogether ask both parties to get to a table- yes- again- yes, one more time- for sake of patients.
The GMC, rightly were worried about patient safety- well I do ask them too- they were accused of bias by many juniors- well, show to them that your worry extends to asking NHS Employers to resolve this. Health Education England were rightly worried about training being compromised- well, extend that to DH and ask them to ensure our generation nexts future is not compromised

Am I a  leader? Don't know- haven't made any lists - but I work in circles where I can ask the powers that be to engage with the juniors. So I will try. I will ask.
If YOU  are someone who can influence that- then do it too. Please. An FMLM fellow? A Keogh fellow? A Chief Executive? A Medical director? You know enough people- do the necessary. Stop being political and trying to protect your job- a 5 day strike is a month away- do what you need to do for patient safety.

I will be honest- I have never done a leadership course - so I don't know what they teach on those courses...but let me finish with a quote regards leadership..

Remember that. And go do the needful.

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