Junior doctors write open letter to Newham’s MPs

Junior doctors striking at Newham University Hospital

Junior doctors striking at Newham University Hospital - Credit: Archant

Junior doctors at Newham University Hospital are set to present an open letter to the borough’s MPs today as they take part in a 48-hour strike.

The letter, signed by more than 1,000 people at the picket line set up outside the Glen Road, Plaistow hospital on previous strike days, is set to be handed over to Stephen Timms MP this afternoon.

Addressed to both Mr Timms and Lyn Brown MP, it expresses junior doctors’ concerns about the imposition of new contracts.

It reads: “In particular we share the concerns that the proposed contracts include a lack of safeguards on hours worked, so are unsafe for patients by exposing them to tired staff, and are unfair for doctors because they do not represent fair remuneration for the quality service already provided every day of the week.

“They are likely to cause problems for areas such as ours, with significant health challenges, to recruit and retain high standard staff, and to ensure that our hospitals run with a safe compliment of doctors who are working in a safe and fair manner.”

Today’s strike, which is set to begin at 8am, will see junior doctors provide emergency care only until the same time on Friday.

A further walkout planned for later this month has been extended to a full withdrawal of labour, with junior doctors refusing to provide even emergency care between 8am and 5pm on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27.

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A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust, which manages Newham University Hospital, said: “We are taking steps to ensure that our staff continue to provide high standards of patient safety and care on strike days.

“The role of the trust is to provide safe and compassionate care for all our patients while also maintaining our duty of care to our own staff.

“Barts Health NHS Trust employs about 1,000 junior doctors at four major hospitals, of whom about two-thirds are BMA members.”