back to top

Doctors Are Sharing The Ways They Help Patients As They Strike For A Second Time

Doctors wanted to put a “human face” behind the dispute, the medical student behind #IAmTheDoctorWho told BuzzFeed News.

Posted on

Doctors are sharing pictures using the hashtag #IAmTheDoctorWho to show ways they help patients, as they stage a second strike over a controversial new contract for junior doctors.

New for tomorrow - send us your #IAmTheDoctorWho photos and we will RT them #juniorcontract via @DrSherbert2

The strike, which began at 8am this morning, involves junior doctors providing only emergency care for 24 hours. It was downgraded from the full walkout that was initially proposed.

It is the second day of industrial action of its kind in just over a month, after more than 98% of junior doctors balloted by the British Medical Association (BMA) voted in favour of strikes over the proposed government contract at the end of last year.

The BMA, NHS Employers, and the independent negotiating body ACAS have been engaged in talks to try to resolve the dispute, but the talks dissolved at the end of January without an agreement being reached.

Advertisement

Final-year medical student Hannah Barnham-Brown, who started the hashtag with a group of junior doctors at St George's Hospital in London, told BuzzFeed News they wanted to put a "human face" to the dispute.

#IAmTheDoctorWho starts this summer; and thanks her future colleagues for standing up for her and others.

"We wanted to be able to show the huge selection of jobs junior doctors actually do," she said, adding that the reaction from the public had been "phenomenal".

"Doctors from across the country, from all specialties, are getting involved, and we've seen huge public support," she said.

#IAmTheDoctorWho answered your questions when your child was admitted to intensive care

Doctors have highlighted the work they do through the night and emotionally strenuous work, such as looking after children in intensive care.

The hashtag plays on the title of television show Doctor Who, and follows the release of a campaign starring Peter Capaldi, the show's current star, in which he publicly expresses his support for junior doctors.

"It's a matter of trust," Capaldi said of his decision to take part.

#JuniorDoctorsStrike #IAmTheDoctorWho operated on your skin cancer

Actor John Hurt, who also took part in the campaign, echoed Capaldi's sentiment.

"The most important thing is that doctors are not to be mistrusted," he said. "They do not go on strike for fun."

#IAmTheDoctorWho #timetolisten #juniorcontract

There are currently no plans for the government and the BMA to resume talks over the contract.

"The government has basically decided that they no longer wish to speak unless we are willing to agree to their terms," Dr Johann Malawana, chair of the BMA's junior doctors committee and a key figure in negotiations, has said. "Which is not really negotiations as far as we can see."

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously said he would be willing to deploy a "nuclear option" of imposing the contract anyway if a satisfactory agreement could not be reached with the BMA.

Ninety per cent of 1,000 junior doctors polled have said they would resign if Hunt were to press ahead in this way.

Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Laura Silver at laura.silver@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

Promoted