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'Striking is just something doctors should not do'

Dr Nick Summerton, a GP in East Yorkshire and a former NICE adviser, argues that junior doctors should be speaking to the Government, and not striking

We are supposed to be professionals and patient focused. This strike is so damaging to the profession and I don’t see what it will achieve.

It’s a symptom of what’s going on with the NHS at the moment - there has to come a point when junior doctors decide whether they are professionals or not.

There’s an ‘I can’t be bothered’ culture among some junior doctors - some can’t be bothered to send out letters when patients are discharged or give us calls to let us know about results or deaths.

I think it is right that patients have access to a seven-day a week health service and if junior doctors dispute this they should continue to oppose the scheme with dialogue and discussion, not a strike.

It’s causing a lot of disruption - there is certainly an issue of trust between the BMA and the department of health, yes, but striking is just something doctors should not do.

That junior doctors are willing to strike is a tragic symptom of the deprofessionalisation of the medical profession. Back when I trained, being a junior doctor was awful, you’d work days and nights and nights again but we had a dialogue, not a strike.

Dr Nick Summerton is a GP in East Yorkshire and a former NICE adviser

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Readers' comments (125)

  • Dr Summerton, I realise as a Yorkshireman you are perfect to do the full Monty-Python 'when I were a lad' sketch with excellent dialect. Hats off for failing to deliver the humour that goes with it. Try it again: " Eeee by gum, when I were a lad, Down t'medical ward, , we'd have DREAMED of free tuition, cheap housing, quiet on-calls with little t'do, and respect galore'. Thaa youngsters don't know yet born'"

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  • @Janette Lockhart

    Your views are simplistic and at best Tory friendly. Who paid you to use such emotional blackmail tactics against us? Does every one thing we are stupid these days? Unbelievable!

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  • Although I wholeheartedly agree with the grievances, I too am against striking. However, the intransigence of the government has pushed the juniors into a corner.
    Like Dr Lockhart my concern is that this plays into the hands of the Government and the right wing media who want the end of the NHS. I do not blame the juniors one bit but the actions of HMG have been cynical and disingenuous.
    Finally, the article above is incredibly crass and divisive. I don't recognise a ' can't be bothered' attitude amongst our hard working junior colleagues but I do recognise a GP who, perhaps, doesn't match his views with actions. Does his practice truly do 7 day working and how many OOH sessions does he do?
    We can disagree with actions but should understadn the junior motives.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Although I agree that giving an personal opinion should not lead to his/her character assassination by others, especially he/she does not possess current political power or authority , one has to understand that the western parliamentary politics is a form of representative democracy which is , in fact,an indirect democracy . These ministers were elected directly by people to 'represent' them in the parliament . The representation then becomes the indirect democracy when they start to speak in House of Commons.
    When indirect democracy fails people , there is a legitimate right to revert to direct democracy . And that is also the reason why the legislation(recently changed by this government!) is so specific about the prerequisite of requirements qualified for an industrial action.
    This is fundamental principle of our democracy even people can have different feelings about it.

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  • Dr Nick Summerton is a GP in East Yorkshire and a former NICE adviser

    No wonder NICE is as crap as it is.

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  • You can please some of the people some of the time but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. We have to stick to our guns and keep the bigger picture in focus ALL the time. Many Tory agents will write comments on our forum trying to plant fears and doubts as evident by some comments already. Their weakness is that they think we are stupid hahahahahahahaha SURPRISE

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  • This is the same Dr Nick Summerton I presume, who is happy to endorse (and get paid no doubt for doing so) such tripe as the Bluecrest health screening private service. Of course. Only if you can afford the £269 to do so.

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  • Thanks very much for all the comments. But I remain unrepentant. Striking is not something that professionals should do - I might be old, conservative, conflicted and have an interest in Ancient Medicine but I do care about my patients and my profession still. I am also reasonably well trained and qualified! The one point I do take exception to is, however, the very idea that I have a cardigan! Nick

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  • Dr Summerton, what a masterclass in how to paint a bulls-eye on ones a$$

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