Search

Junior doctors protest: Royal London A&E doctor warns lives may be at risk

PUBLISHED: 08:30 29 October 2015

Dr Hannah Marshall, children's A&E doctor at the Royal London Hospital, often works 12-hour shifts

Dr Hannah Marshall, children's A&E doctor at the Royal London Hospital, often works 12-hour shifts

Supplied by Dr Hannah Marshall

A children’s A&E doctor who works gruelling 12 hour shifts fears lives could be put at risk if controversial new NHS contracts are imposed by the government.

Dr Hannah Marshall, a paediatrician at the Royal London Hospital, says patient safety will be compromised if doctors are forced to work longer hours for less pay under proposed employment changes.

The government has faced a backlash from junior doctors over the contentious plans, which it says will better support a seven-day NHS.

But hospital medics, already working punishing shifts, fear rotas will only get worse.

Dr Marshall, 29, who qualified six years ago, said: “I work in children’s A&E and do shifts that are usually nine to 12 hours long. I work one in two weekends. On an average day I might see 10 to 20 children, babies and teenagers that are brought in unwell or injured.

“It’s high pressured and fast paced. I make decisions that have the potential to be life-saving.

“I frequently get home from work too wired to go to bed, and then lie awake going over the decisions I’ve made that day.”

The new contract, due to be imposed next August, will affect hundreds of junior doctors at the Royal London in Whitechapel.

The British Medical Association (BMA), the trade union for doctors, says it will remove vital safeguards which mean hospital trusts are fined if junior medics work dangerously long hours.

It will also reclassify “normal working hours” as 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday, instead of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday. Critics claim this will affect salaries as junior doctors will miss out on extra pay for unsociable hours.

“The new contract seeks to make doctors work longer hours for less pay, whilst not protecting our wellbeing or appreciating the detrimental effect on our patients it will have,” said Dr Marshall.

“It will be unsafe for patients and unsafe for doctors. It will also reduce our quality of life and increase the level of stress we are under.

“This, and the pay cut, will lead to doctors leaving the profession or leaving the country for better working conditions.”

The BMA is due to ballot on industrial action on November 5. It comes after 20,000 protestors marched on Whitehall on October 17 in support of junior doctors.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “This is not a cost cutting exercise, we are not seeking to save any money from the pay bill.

“The proposal will improve patient safety by better supporting a seven-day NHS.

“This contract will not impose longer hours and we will ensure that the great majority are at least as well paid as they would be now.

“We urge the BMA to come back to the table to work out the best deal for its members.”

Latest East London News Stories

26 minutes ago

The heatwave may finally be coming to an end, with the cooler weather making it the ideal time to go outside and exercise.

A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in Stepney.

07:00

The Met has claimed it is one of the first forces in the country to develop its own mobile fingerprint device.

Yesterday, 19:06

Victims of the 1996 Canary Wharf bombing are set to meet with the Northern Ireland Office to discuss compensation plans for those impacted by the Troubles.

Yesterday, 17:26

A coach driver who turned into the path of a cyclist and caused fatal and “catastrophic injuries” only knew there had been an accident because a passenger alerted him to it, a court has heard.

Yesterday, 14:00

Youngsters braved the wind and rain to build and race their very own go-karts.

Yesterday, 13:22

When A-level results come out on August 16, more than three quarters of students who want to go to university are likely to get into their first choice.

Yesterday, 12:00

A free-lance accountant with a passion for books has appealed for help replacing his three-wheeled bookshop after thieves stole it from his home.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now