The Times this morning had new polling on the junior doctors strike (the fieldwork was completed shortly before the strike later this month was called off). It shows that more of the public support the strike than oppose it, but only just, and that support has fallen significantly since earlier in the year.

42% of people said they thought junior doctors were right to go on strike (down from 53% when the question was last asked in April), 38% think they are wrong (up from 29%). While people still think the government are more to blame for the dispute ending in industrial action, support for the strike is clearly flagging.

The decision to move to five day long strikes also looks risky in terms of public support. 34% of the public say they support junior doctors taking five day strike action, 48% of people say they are opposed.

Full tabs are here.


705 Responses to “Latest polling on the doctors strike”

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  1. First?

    I’m not surprised public opinion has shifted against the strikes and especially against the 5 day strikes. Junior doctors should just get on with the job or leave the profession altogether.

  2. This poll won’t be particularly valid until it extends to Saturday and Sunday sampling.

  3. It’s quite clear blame for the strikes lies squarely at Jeremy Corbyn’s door. [/s]

    ————————————-

    I’ve very mixed views on the striking and contract dispute. The seven day NHS spiel is absurd, certainly, but as far as I can tell (and I’m no expert, so please correct me) that’s not the true objective of the new contract.

    The true aim appears to be to stop small numbers of doctors working very high numbers of hours (90+), by removing the financial incentive for them to do so, and norming junior doctors’ pay.

    Having run a little exercise (not a study or poll…) into this, by showing people I know – family members, academics, medical students the following:

    a) The existing hours/pay scale chart;
    b) That proposed by the BMA originally;
    c) That proposed by the government now.

    .. with any reference to which contract was offered by whom removed, I found that every single person thought the government’s contract (at least in terms of hours and pay) was the fairest.

    I ran this exercise because, though I am loathe to agree with a right-wing government and to condemn the medical staff who work so hard, I couldn’t get my head around how it could be safer to have greater pay incentives for junior doctors to work antisocial hours, as was (/is) the case.

    The new contract seems to provide the backbone for non-emergency operations being performed seven days a week, which is a worthwhile foundation so far as efficiency goes.

    I have seen one legitimate-sounding fear (at least at a glance), which is that the government wants operations performed seven days a week to allow for private companies to make more profit by having operations performed around the clock, without regard for patient safety (and doctor burn-out), but I don’t think this stands up to scrutiny.

    As I say, I’m divided on this, and suspect the striking might be motivated more by politics and default opposition than patient safety, though the Conservatives’ approach has left much to be desired.

  4. Hello Kester

    That’s a very fair and interesting post – I just didn’t get the connection with Jeremy Corbyn’s door.

  5. @BT SAYS

    My point: [/s] indicates sarcasm. Just furthering the ‘BlameCorbyn’ hashtag (http://metro.co.uk/2015/10/24/dont-blame-it-on-the-sunshine-dont-blame-it-on-the-moonlight-blamecorbyn-is-twitter-gold-5459408/). A commentary, sometimes puerile, on the absurdity of the press’s treatment of Corbyn.

  6. Don’t suppose there’s any information indicating people’s reasons for changing of support?

    Could it not just be linked to greater confidence in May’s government than Cameron’s?

  7. BT –

    (Jeremy Corbyn’s door . . )

    I think it was (meant to be) what I call a ‘joke’.

    Though I’m no fan of JC it is hard to see that he’s had any influence either way on this issue – and nor has Diane Abbott.

    My understanding, as very much an outsider on this, is that the real issue for many junior doctors – especially the young ones – is their belief that the Govt’s intention is to have them work long hours, inc more at weekends, but to reduce their costs. They correctly say there’s no sign of the Govt providing more nursing hours, more support tech hours, etc etc over Saturday & Sunday – which is the *real* key to a “seven day NHS”.

    BTW it is obvious why the mortality etc figures are higher for weekend admissions – you (the patient) only go to hospital or call the GP at the weekend if it’s pretty serious; otherwise you wait till Monday. Common human nature after all!

  8. KESTER LEEK

    @”Don’t suppose there’s any information indicating people’s reasons for changing of support?”

    The Poll questions give a clue:-

    More people think the “blame for the dispute” lies with the BMA, and less people think it lies with The Government.

    A net 14% oppose . “taking strike action lasting for five
    days ” rather than “one or two days”

    The Junior Doctors now appear to understand that the public’s support is not unconditional.

  9. I’m fed up of moaning doctors. UK doctors are the best paid in Europe and also get a gold plated pension scheme – yes they do have to work long hours but that goes with the territory. I think that, if anything, the government has been TOO generous to them!

  10. Somewhat off-thread, but anyway, health-related. There’s an interesting piece on the Grauniad website about antibiotic overuse in farm animals and the resulting increase in dangerous antibiotic-proof superbugs. The political angle is this:

    “Important trading partners such as the US and China have much lower animal welfare standards, and more lax controls on the use of antibiotics on their farms, than the UK and the EU. UK trade negotiators are likely to be under pressure to accept lower standards as a result, and more than 80 civil society organisations have called for the government to resist such attempts…

    … Even the current regulations – regarded as too weak by campaigners – are now under threat, as the government prepares for the “bonfire of red tape” on farming, that was called for by Brexiteers.”

  11. Kester Leek

    Possible that the drop in support is related to the fact that BMA negotiators reached an agreement on a deal that the BMA felt able to recommend to the junior doctors, who voted against accepting it.

    May also be due to the incoherence on both sides. The ‘striking to protect patient safety’ argument looks weaker given the BMA recommendation to accept the latest deal.

    Also possible that it’s an issue of proportionality. This is where it gets complicated. Who is the strike designed to hurt? Hunt has just been reappointed so it’s unlikely he’ll get the sack any time soon, and the next national election is not visible on the political horizon. Do those facts mean that a junior doctors’ strike only makes sense as a protest, rather than an tactic for forcing the government to back down?

  12. Allan

    “Junior doctors should just get on with the job or leave the profession altogether ”

    That could be a bit drastic, I’m not sure how many junior doctors would have to resign before the whole system starts falling to bits, but I suspect its not that many

  13. As Mike of Sheffield said, there are very prosaic reasons for higher mortality rates for weekend admissions (the data are even more complicated than this). The first publication observing this was from the 1970s from Norway, but since then every country that has published such figures show the same pattern – so it is unlikely that it is an NHS specific problem.

    I guess the 5-day length had an impact on the opinion, also Sorbus’s points of the agreement “reached”, and the lack of clear articulation of the junior doctor’s points. Judging from social media, the whole argument has become purely emotional (the First step of dismantling the NHS by the Conservatives) – which may has some rational basis, but creates an unwinnable argument.

    And, of course, it is Corbyn’s fault as, being void of leadership skills, didn’t take on the government, didn’t lead the PLP to the summit of new victories against the government.

  14. It always strikes me (no pun intended) that going on strike is a something of a crude blunt instrument, and as we see from that poll, public support can rapidly diminish.

    The doctors might be better advised to make their point by means of a campaign of disobedience, ie they go in to work and perform all the medical procedures they are required to do, but refuse to do any form filling or other administrative tasks.

    The Trust Boards will soon get annoyed when their paperwork doesn’t get done, and will put pressure on the Govt. to sort it out.

  15. Ed Milliband said he wanted to weaponise the NHS but he ignored the fact that the Conservatives increased spending during the last five years and Andrew Lansley shifted the NHS from a focus on process targets to a focus on measuring health outcomes.
    Press reports on Stafford Hospital suggested that because of the substandard care between 400 and 1200 more patients died between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected for the type of hospital, though in fact such ‘excess’ death statistics did not appear in the Healthcare Commission report.
    Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Health Secretary Alan Johnson apologised to those who suffered at the hospital, but they had died.
    Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England, welcomed the Government’s Mandate to Health Education England that sets out plans for education and training for all NHS staff. It is the first time ever that a single organisation has had responsibility for all NHS staff education, recruitment, training and development. He has a budget of £5 billion to help NHS staff improve their ability to care for patients.
    The number of doctors employed by NHS trusts rose by 6.9% over the four years to last October, to 105,056. Within this group, the number of consultants rose nearly twice as fast, up 13.2% to 40,709.
    biggest cuts have been non-senior managers, down 18.5% to 24,349, and senior managers, down 22.1% to 10,197. Many left as the result of the government’s phasing out of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities, completed last April.
    Spending on the NHS in England will rise by nearly £35 billion in cash terms – an increase of 35 per cent by 2020 according to the King’s fund.
    Jeremy Hunt stated in Parliament that the government made 107 concessions before the BMA agreed to support the new proposals yet they now say the Contract is unacceptable. Doctors should either sign or leave!

  16. I think the reason there is a drop in support for the strikes from the public is that “we” now have a better understanding what they are striking over.

    One reason why they are striking….
    ….
    “Basic pay is to be increased by 13.5% on average”

    “But that comes at a price: other elements of the pay package are to be curbed, including what constitutes unsociable hours”

    “Day hours on a Saturday will be paid at a normal rate, while extra premiums that are being offered for night and the rest of the weekend are lower than what is currently paid”
    _______

    It’s a bloody joke. How many of us can say we’ve been lucky enough to have had a 13.5% pay increase? And whoopee Saturday hours are to be treated as normal working hours…What about all the low paid retail and entertainment staff who also work at the weekends but receive no extra premiums? Should they go on strike? I don’t work weekends but that;s down to our client base not working weekends.

    I really do take issue with a lot of the strikes when it comes to pay. All of us would like more pay. My current contract has me working in our central London office and because of the location I’m entitled to an additional premium payment of 10% of my annual salary (London waiting allowance) and subsidized train travel into work which alone is worth over £2500. Season tickets prices are a fright.

    However 3 months ago the company changed the rules on the London waiting allowance for our central London workers and Instead of automatically receiving the additional London waiting allowance every month in our pay packet its now worked out every 3 months because quite a lot of my colleagues including myslef also work at our Reigate office which is outside of the London waiting allowance qualifying area so the premium is now worked out at how many days you’ve actually worked in London in a 3 month period rather than just a blanked allowance for the full year.

    I also have to pay for my own petrol money to travel to Reigate when my train commute into London is paid for by the company so taking these factors in I’m financially worse off and I’m probably losing more money than many of the striking tambourine bashing docs are but I don’t feel the need or want to strike.

    Of course my thought process is unlike that of the Junior docs and I don’t think of myself as being indispensable.

    Moan over….I am happy with my current pay increase but that was more to do with promotion than a simple annual pay increase

  17. “true aim appears to be to stop small numbers of doctors working very high numbers of hours (90+), by removing the financial incentive”

    While there are doctors working beyond the limits set by the EWTD, this will almost be entirely outside the contractual framework relevant to these negotiations and will instead be on an individual trust/ locum basis. Rotas are almost invariably designed within these limits, and therefore restrict hours.

    The new contract does allow hospitals to schedule more doctors for less money at the weekend. Anecdotally shifts at the weekend are horrific, and so the changes might well be reasonable, although evidence for increased mortality and morbidity seem to be surprisingly difficult to obtain.

    What it also does is close the salary gap between those working ‘normal’ hours (e.g. in microbiology) and those whose work is entirely shift based (e.g. a&e), potentially increasing the already considerable dependence on locums in those specialities.

  18. CAMBRIDGERACHEL
    Allan
    “Junior doctors should just get on with the job or leave the profession altogether ”
    ……..
    “That could be a bit drastic, I’m not sure how many junior doctors would have to resign before the whole system starts falling to bits, but I suspect its not that many”
    _________

    I think a lot of the threats by the J docs to leave the profession is just bluster. However this is one area where I would welcome positive immigration to work in our NHS to mitigate any losses from migrating disgruntled striking docs.

  19. @Allan C

    “In terms of the state pension you’re not wrong. Quite an interesting article I’m reading…”

    ——–

    You see, if you look at things in terms of the most powerful voting blocs, it’s vital you keep working to keep Boomers in the luxury to which they’re accustomed well into their dotage. Also, it’s important that money is diverted from your future pension needs, in order to service current Boomer pension needs etc.

    Thus you will have to pay more and work longer to get less. Especially when that Yougov polling showed majority of Boomers don’t plan on passing on too much dosh.

    P.s. Don’t tell Boomers I told you all this, they’re under the impression they’ve been hard done by and hence get a bit nearly about it

    P.p.s. When the current population boom reach adulthood, they may too be a powerful voting bloc, and you may find things stacked against you a bit more in your dotage from that direction. Don’t tell anyone I told you this etc…

    P.p.p.s. You may have to make provision for your robots too, who may be a powerful voting bloc by 2058 etc.

  20. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I suspect these strikes have been whipped up as a political point. I suspect not many of the doctors who have been on the picket lines know the details of the contract (or are just ignoring the facts) as claims of “We’re going to be less safe” seems to me not to be down to the contract but a threat against the public as a whole.

    Less maximum hours, less consecutive night shifts I don’t see how that is going to be less safe unless a few doctors make “mistakes” to prove their point.

    I suspect it’s a few doctors who know how to game the system to take home a very nice wage who are behind this and inciting the rest into thinking it’s a terrible deal.

    I can’t see many refusing to sign the contract and becoming plumbers.

  21. LASZLO

    @”whole argument has become purely emotional (the First step of dismantling the NHS by the Conservatives) ”

    Evidence for this ridiculous assertion please.

    …………second thoughts-don’t bother.

  22. ALAN

    @”I suspect these strikes have been whipped up as a political point.”

    Absolutely.

    Overtly so on occasions-Get Rid of This Tory Government-plain & clear.

    It makes me smile when these people threaten to take their expensive training to places like Australia-where Fee for Service , Health Insurance & Medicare refunds are part of a system which they would be on the streets protesting against , if introduced in this country.

    The NHS is the last major State Provider of services in which the Providers are kicking like hell against an administration determined to put Patient Interest ahead of theirs. And they don’t like it.

    Remember that Bevan had to “Stuffing their mouths with gold’..

  23. I wonder if anyone can help with this. I have never understood why the political right have a problem with strikes under the current law. If the individual strikes it is because they have made a choice, either to strike because they wanted to, to achieve solidarity if they did not vote for strike or because they do not want to be seen as a strike-breaker. The individual freedom which is espoused by the right seems to be ignored when it comes to this particular choice.
    @ ALLAN CHRISTIE
    On the medics strike I think the key argument from the BMA is that whatever the contract states, the only way to achieve a seven day NHS is by more hours being worked by doctors. This can be achieved only by two means: 1 increasing the number of doctors that work in the NHS or 2 by the existing doctors working longer hours. They argue that by reducing the unsocial hours element this will encourage NHS managers to ask doctors to work excessive hours because the cost to the Trust will be reduced in comparison to now: if a doctor works those excessive hours that will damage patient safety.

  24. CARFREW

    Yes they baby boomers are a nuisance to my pay packet. I’m not sure how much longer people my age can go on subsidising (or is it subsidizing?) the boomers. Life for them is great at my expense. Crosswording, bingo, allotments, free bus travel, high end Marks & Spencer slippers and so the list goes on.

    Now that most have said that they won’t be passing on any dosh I think it’s time my generation pull the plug on the older boomers and ask them to go out and fruit pick. ;-)

  25. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “and ask them to go out and fruit pick”

    Stop taking jobs away from my robots!

  26. @CARFREW
    You see, if you look at things in terms of the most powerful voting blocs, it’s vital you keep working to keep Boomers in the luxury to which they’re accustomed well into their dotage.
    ——-
    Spot on, one of the best comments you’ve made on this forum.

    Now can everyone please stop wasting time reading this inane drivel, and get back to work so that your earnings and tax are as high as possible, I’ve got a cruise to pay for in a couple of weeks …

  27. Colin

    I think you misunderstood me – I said that this is what it became on social media, not that it was a reality …

  28. @Kester Leek

    Thank you for an excellent and balanced post.

    I have no idea about the merits or otherwise of this dispute, except for two things: my doctor friends tell me that its all about the money, and little to do with patient safety. And the Government’s ‘facts’ about weekend mortality rates would not have impressed a GCSE examiner.

    Something is very seriously wrong with government at the moment, where it has become the norm to spout so-called facts that both the speaker, the interviewer and the watching/listening public know to be utter nonsense.

    I honestly don’t think it used to be like this.

  29. @David Carrod

    “Spot on, one of the best comments you’ve made on this forum.
    Now can everyone please stop wasting time reading this inane drivel, and get back to work so that your earnings and tax are as high as possible, I’ve got a cruise to pay for in a couple of weeks …”

    ——–

    Inane drivel??????!!!! How rude…

    As I was saying, numerous boomers seem to think it fantasy how how they escaped the reworking of pensions peeps like Allan C. have to deal with. And the polling from Yougov where two thirds of boomers say they’re not overly keen on passing on the benefits they reaped from full employment, house prices etc.

    Quite a few boomers do go on cruises these days, of course, I know a few. But while many boomers don’t have to worry about pensions and house prices etc., youngsters like Allan need to deal with a different reality, so increasingly it’ll get talked about, and polled… As will the power of the voting bloc.

  30. @Alan

    “Stop taking jobs away from my robots!”

    ———

    Dear God, stop wishing the Singularity upon us!! (Not till we’ve made enough to be immune from Ladder-pulling anyways…)

  31. @Allan C.

    Exactly. The younger peeps like you don’t tend to bump into me repeatedly at gigs when I’m trying to do a bit of video. They’re actually quite supportive. And don’t tend to dismiss stuff as inane drivel. You’re doing very well to have a career Allan, because I increasingly meet peeps with degrees and Masters for whom career paths are still disappearing. Environmental scientists for example, many posts disappeared with the cuts…

  32. ALLAN CHRISTIE –
    “I think a lot of the threats by the J docs to leave the profession is just bluster. However this is one area where I would welcome positive immigration to work in our NHS to mitigate any losses from migrating disgruntled striking docs.”

    ALAN –
    “I can’t see many refusing to sign the contract and becoming plumbers.”

    Even trivial knowledge of the NHS would clarify that many of the junior doctors and the nursing staff in our hospitals *already are* ‘immigrant workers’ from Asian countries – because there aren’t enough UK trained ones available. Even so, the NHS has too many vacancies for permanent-staff doctors and nurses, hence the high use of (expensive) agency staff

    And junior doctors who leave working for the NHS won’t become plumbers – they don’t need to. They would have no problem at all in getting work as doctors in other countries where they’d earn significantly more then in the UK.

    As for the idea that young and trainee doctors can’t read & understand the contract on offer – how dim do you think they are? (Remember, they might be operating on you or yours in the next few months . . .)

  33. ALAN
    ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I think a lot of the strikes are political motivated. I’m not suggesting there aren’t real concerns among the UK workforce but some do know how to play the system.

    I reckon if a large Tesco store had to shut for 5 days due to strikes there would be more public uproar than if the docs went on strike for 5 days and the public would demand that the company employ other staff and get rid of the strikers.

  34. WB

    I’m not so sure it’s quite as simple as that. The way I see it is that Docs somehow think working a Saturday is a mugs game and therefore they should be rewarded for working Saturdays.

    People get ill 24/7. The level of care on a Monday should be the same as the weekend. Sunday working I’ll concede and should there should be a premium for working that day regardless of profession.
    ………….
    ALAN
    ALLAN CHRISTIE
    “and ask them to go out and fruit pick”
    ……….
    Stop taking jobs away from my robots!
    _______

    LOL. I hadn’t thought about that but if we’re to keep the robots then their earnings should be taxed so it will lessen the burden on my wage packet paying for them boomers. ;-)

  35. @Allan C

    Thing is, we went through the doctor thing when ole Col. had misgivings a while back. On the surface, it seems like Docs won’t be worse off, but when you looked in more detail, it did seem like it might be too good to be true. For eggers, removal of protections to keep docs from having to work much longer hours, and not much extra money made available to cover the extra provision, which suggested summat will have to give.*

    Regarding being “politically motivated”, this can mean numerous things. Left unclarified, it might suggest using strikes as an excuse to give the current government a bloody nose regardless. But it might also mean they’re simply worried this is the thin end of a very thick wedge…

    * (though not up to speed with most recent development in case some of this got dealt with…)

  36. @Somerjohn – many scientists believe that antibiotic resistance is right up there with global warming in terms of the threat levels to human society.

    Worse still is the issue of fungicide resistance fungal infections. We only have 4 classes of fungicide, far fewer than antibiotics, and we already have multi resistant strains of spores killing people. Again, this is largely caused by farming and the pre-emptive treatment of seeds etc.

    This is all part of the pressure of population numbers.

  37. CARFREW
    @Allan C.

    The World is getting tougher for graduates. My wee sister is still studying at Uni and knows she may well have to take a lesser skilled job after graduating for a few years until the right career opportunity comes.

    I didn’t go to Uni but was quite lucky to have laded a job shortly after I left school but I had to work and prove myself. I went on a school levers program for 3 months and then sat exams put forward by the company . After I passed them I was offered a position and worked my way up to a graduates entry level which only finished about a year ago. Since then I’ve had a promotion and also relocated.

    For every graduate place we advertise there are over 200 applicants and as a company we still give school levers the chance to go on school lever programs because not everyone has the opportunity to go to Uni and there is a heck of a lot of talent out there who don’t have degrees etc.

    I don’t doubt for a minute its a tough World for today’s graduates but they need to be a bit more realistic about their goals and have a more varied and broader career path.

  38. MofS
    “BTW it is obvious why the mortality etc figures are higher for weekend admissions – you (the patient) only go to hospital or call the GP at the weekend if it’s pretty serious; otherwise you wait till Monday.”

    Shouldn’t that mean more deaths in the week of those who should have been treated the previous weekend but did not present themselves?

    Are the actual numbers of deaths higher, or is it the proportion deaths/admissions which is higher? IIRC I’ve seen it stated that ‘deaths higher at weekends’ statistics are not so, but I have to go out so no time to search now. Anyone know the facts?

  39. The “junior” doctors contract issue is really very simple. Hunt wants to increase the total hours worked to create a “7 day” NHS. But he doesn’t want to increase the total pay envelope. It is inescapable that this means a (large) reduction in the overall rate of pay.

  40. “However this is one area where I would welcome positive immigration to work in our NHS ”

    So you’re quite happy stealing trained health workers from countries with worse outcomes than ours.

    How does that help the poor and dispossessed in poorer countries, and how is it any different from colonial occupation and exploitation?

    If you steal staff from the rest of the world, then the rest of the world will stop training them.

  41. ” Even so, the NHS has too many vacancies for permanent-staff doctors and nurses, hence the high use of (expensive) agency staff”

    And if the NHS simply banned the use of ‘agency staff’ where else in the UK would those staff get a job?

    It’s time that the NHS refused to employ agency staff and put the temporary contracts on their own site instead – at the lower rate.

    Then it is up to the staff person whether they want to continue working for the NHS, or leave the medical profession.

    With the current approach the NHS is creating a chicken and egg problem and paying a load of pointless middlemen.

  42. The reality is that doctors have been treated like demi-gods ever since the Attlee government set up the NHS by bribing medics with big salaries. I think it was Ernest Bevin who said that doctors’ mouth would be stuffed with gold. This is a disgraceful way to run a public service – while it’s true that doctors have very ‘in demand’ skills globally the same could be said for several other professions whose mouths have not been stuffed with gold, silver or anything else.

    Ultimately the taxpayer needs to receive value for money and I don’t believe that putting more and more money into medical salaries is helping this. What we need is all GPs to be salaried employees of the NHS and also a clear clause in the employment contract for all doctors, hospital based and GPs, that if they choose to leave the NHS and work abroad within a given period of time after graduating they will need to pay back all their training costs. This could be done on a taper basis, so that the longer they work for the NHS the less they would need to pay back.

    We cannot afford to spend untold millions training doctors who make categorical demands on the NHS and threaten to leave for jobs abroad. This must stop and the government needs to take appropriate action.

  43. @NEIL WILSON

    “It’s time that the NHS refused to employ agency staff and put the temporary contracts on their own site instead – at the lower rate.”

    The problem is that often you need locums to cover for peaks in demand and times when full time doctors are off sick or on holiday. You can just get rid of the locum concept, though I do agree that it needs to be used only in essential circumstances.

  44. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    No taxation without representation!

  45. @OLDENGLISH

    “The number of doctors employed by NHS trusts rose by 6.9% over the four years to last October, to 105,056. Within this group, the number of consultants rose nearly twice as fast, up 13.2% to 40,709.
    biggest cuts have been non-senior managers, down 18.5% to 24,349, and senior managers, down 22.1% to 10,197. Many left as the result of the government’s phasing out of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities, completed last April.”

    Cutting managers has been a retrograde step. Having fewer managers may appear to give more priority to front line care, but the admin and managerial tasks still need to be done and with fewer managers who will do them? Doctors of course. What we need is people doing jobs they are supposed to do and wasting medical time on management is not appropriate. Reducing these tasks would free up a lot of doctor time that could be better spent on hands-on care.

  46. Not going to comment on the Junior Doctors in England, but I will point to the fact that the highest support for the JDs was in Scotland and the Scots blamed the government for the mess.

    Two questions flwo from these observations:
    1. Why were we in Scotland asked to comment on what is a straightforward matter for those living in England only?
    2. What makes the pollsters think the Scots are aware of all the intricacies of the issue, when the metter is receiving very little attention from Scottish media (third or fourth item, if at all)?

    This is an English issue. Only those living in England ought to have been asked for their opinions.

    Or am I wrong?

  47. ‘flow’ and ‘matter’, of course. Apologies

  48. ‘ I think it was Ernest Bevin who said that doctors’ mouth would be stuffed with gold. ‘

    It was actually Aneurin Bevan.

  49. Always makes me laugh when many of the public support a doctor’s union, but won’t support a train drivers union, or cleaners, or council workers etc etc.

  50. @ Carfrew
    Thank goodness for peeps like you who allow us pampered boomers to carry on living the life of Reilly. We don’t even have the bother of rigging the ballot as you don’t bother voting at all!

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