Joining the Confed and Providers cost one Trust the best part of £53,000 for a year. Join the ProFed or employ a couple of nurses… Mmmmm.

That matters

Doctors don’t seem to be getting anywhere with their strikes.

A couple of them have been on the telly. A lot of the them have lost a lot of money… the BMA won’t stump up strike pay.

More of them have been pictured on picket lines, singing and in party mood.

Not a good look.

Despite the fact there have been several strike days (I’ve lost track of how many, maybe 19?), nothing much has changed.

HMG as far as they are concerned, have ‘settled’. Depending on how you count it, could be worth 6%, 8% or 10%.

The doctors want 35%.

They argue about how much a junior doctor earns. It could be £33,345 or maybe £50,017or £41,681. No one knows.

Does it matter? 

They earn what they earn… and they want about a third more.

The consultants want something or other. I’m not sure what. 

They say they’re striking ‘for the survival of the NHS…’ which is jolly decent of them. How making a bad situation worse, helps?


By the way, we have a 15 year workforce plan, so they’ll be on strike for a while yet.

In the 14 years to 2022/23, consultants’ pay has ‘flatlined’, growing by 14%. Average UK pay went up by about 48%.

It’s obvious to me; the BMA have been asleep at the wheel for fourteen years. I’d want my union-subs back. I’d be more cross with the union than HMG.

How much do they earn… does it matter?

If you really want to know; from 1 April 2023, they earned between £93,666 and £126,281 and want more.

By the way, average salaries across the UK, by age group are;

  • 22 to 29-years – £25,178. 
  • 30 to 39-years – £30,019. 
  • 40 to 49-years – £31,476. 
  • 50 to 59-years – £29,007.

You might also might like to know… September to November 2022, the annual salary-growth in the private sector was; 

  • 6% in the finance and business sector.
  • 3% in the construction sector.
  • 0% in the wholesaling, hotel and restaurant, retailing and wholesaling sectors… and …

... 3.3% in the public sector.

Comparability arguments never seem to matter. Nevertheless…

… I somehow feel the doc’s might not have, ‘read the room…’

None of this really matters.

It’s pretty clear, HMG are not going to budge. Not for this year, that’s for sure. You might get some talks going about the next two years.

That leaves us with the strikes, and their impact.

The NHS is getting pretty good at managing strikes. There’s enough cover to make sure no one drops the ball in A&E and ITU.

As far as I am aware, strike days are a huge administrative and management headache but there have been no blue-light blunders.

The front end is taken care of. The backend is a different story.

According to the BMJ, close on a million people will have been turfed-off the waiting lists as appointments are cancelled because of the strikes.

Managing lists is a head-ache at the best of times but the NHS is adaptable. With some of the best administrators there are. They’re getting better at cancelling, shuffling and sorting out.

It’s getting routine, not to matter that much. They’re across it.

The public on the other hand…

… it’s complicated. Although a huge number of people are looked after by the NHS every day, it is a minority of the population.

Not all people on the waiting list need an operation. Perhaps sixty percent are waiting for a diagnostic and a percentage of symptoms and ‘illness’ will be self-limiting.

In the meantime, we have an unpopular government, who will not get more popular by giving-in to strikes. In fact they might do better to appear tough.

It will drag on.

To work, strikes have to touch people’s lives. 

The longer this goes on, the more lives it will touch. More of the public will have a view.

Labour have claimed 121,000 patients have died, waiting for NHS treatment. Probably not quite true. It was a small sample with extrapolated numbers and…

… you could be on the list for a bunion job and pass-on because you are 96 and your time has come.

Some honcho at the BMA Dr Emma Runswick, Council deputy chair, said:

… for people to die whilst waiting to get the care they have been waiting for is a terrible indictment of this Government’s mismanagement of our health services.’

Probably, but…

… Ms Runswick doesn’t seem too bothered about the implication that, for sure, you can bet somewhere, someone whose clinical priority has brought them to the front of the list, will come to grief because of the strikes…

… and a cancelled test for cancer left undiagnosed to rampage through someone’s body, life and family.

Increasingly, it looks to me, for the doctors, none of this matters…

However, the majority of UK medical schools require or invite their students to say a variant of the Hippocratic Oath at graduation. 

In terms;

 “I will use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgement; I will abstain from harming or wronging any man by it…

… following a long list of things that don’t matter…

… that matters.

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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.