Don’t carry on strik­ing too long for all our sakes

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

WHILE sitting in a hos­pi­tal wait­ing room, my head in a news­pa­per, my eye caught an ar­ti­cle about the seven-day NHS get­ting ever closer.

I was very amused, be­cause I was in Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal with Mr F … on a Satur­day! Yes, it was a week­end.

The hos­pi­tal, you won’t be sur­prised to know, hadn’t opened es­pe­cially for him, and it all felt very nor­mal and worka­day.

Mr F was hav­ing acupunc­ture for a dodgy back, and it was NHS treat­ment, not pri­vate, in case you were won­der­ing.

I did read on though to find that the ar­ti­cle was mainly about the clause be­ing scrapped that al­lows se­nior hos­pi­tals to opt out of shifts on Satur­days and Sun­days.

A wor­thy move, as it aims to give the pub­lic the same high level of ser­vice ev­ery day of the week.

I have to say our ex­pe­ri­ence at the week­end a year ago was very pos­i­tive when Mr F was ad­mit­ted to Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal and needed an emer­gency oper­a­tion.

He was rushed through to re­susc, and there seemed plenty of ex­per­tise on call, in­clud­ing some­one brought in to take a vi­tal scan.

The doc­tors on duty who were pre­sum­ably ju­nior doc­tors – ap­par­ently the de­scrip­tion for all medics be­low the level of con­sul­tant – worked tire­lessly to find out what was wrong and he was oper­ated on as soon as pos­si­ble.

You will re­mem­ber it was only the so-called 999 ser­vice that had let us down by re­fus­ing to send an am­bu­lance, which still makes my blood boil, but I won’t go over old ground again.

In­stead, let’s give a big, loud, pos­i­tive Gazette cheer that af­ter five months of crip­pling strikes, the ju­nior doc­tors’ union has agreed to a deal. But – there’s al­ways a ‘but’ isn’t there? – there are now fears that the deal will be re­jected in a mem­bers’ ref­er­en­dum to be held this month (June).

I think they should worry more about los­ing pub­lic sym­pa­thy.

Many think it is wrong for doc­tors ever to with­draw labour – oth­ers are tired of hav­ing op­er­a­tions and ap­point­ments post­poned. Sup­port is hang­ing by a thread.

Oh please, red car­pet peo­ple, stop showing us acres of un­fet­tered flesh. It’s not dar­ing or sexy. It’s bor­ing. It’s like be­ing trapped in a Carry On Doc­tor movie. At least for Bar­bara Wind­sor, showing side boobs and but­tocks was in the script.

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