My Contribution to the NHS Junior Doctor strike Urgent Question

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con):
What actions are senior NHS managers taking to resolve non-pay issues for which they could offer better work experiences to doctors? What use can they make of flexibilities over pay increments, promotions and gradings so that good staff can be better rewarded?

Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Cate:
As ever, my right hon. Friend raises an extremely important point. As part of the negotiation with the AfC staff council, a number of non-pay issues were discussed. Job evaluation is one such issue. Likewise, for junior doctors, areas such as e-rostering are extremely important. I share his desire for investment in technology, and to look at the time spent by clinicians that could be spent by others in the skills mix or through better use of artificial intelligence technology and a better estates programme. That is why it is important that we continue to have that funding, as well as reaching the offer that we have with the AfC staff council.


  1. a-tracy
    April 18, 2023

    Who is on the Agenda for Change Staff Council, and how many people are they regional or based in London?
    Which ministers and government representatives?
    How long has AfC existed?
    Are the ‘non-pay issues’ in every hospital throughout the UK in even proportion, including Scotland and Wales?
    Is there one trust, one hospital anywhere with a happy workforce, even in regions like Newcastle U Tyne, Liverpool, and parts of Wales and Scotland where property prices and living costs are lower? People mention graduate loans, yet every English graduate has them; many students do a Masters now or extra-legal years of training, and most legal clerks I know start on lower salaries than nurses. The Scottish and Welsh don’t have undergraduate student loans, and they’re still out picketing and striking.

    I had to look this up to see what Mr Barlcay was discussing. Electronic rostering is said to be SMART; anything that has to convince people it is SMART generally isn’t.
    The NHS Long Term Plan1 (LTP) committed that “by 2021; NHS Improvement will
    support NHS trusts and foundation trusts to deploy electronic rosters or e-job
    plans. Lord Carter’s 2016 and 2018 reports on operational productivity in the NHS
    recommend all NHS provider organisations use an e-rostering system for all clinical
    staff groups”

  2. Cuibono
    April 18, 2023

    Don’t really see why people who abandoned us exactly when they were most needed ( allegedly) should be fawned over. They took the furlough money presumably?
    Do they want to be doctors or not?
    Probably the most helpful thing the govt. could do would be to arrange accommodation for junior doctors ( or any who needed it) and nurses too since the govt. is entirely responsible for the ludicrous property prices.

    1. graham1946
      April 19, 2023

      Nurses used to be housed when training and had to leave their uniforms in hospital for laundering. Now they wear them riding around in buses and do their own. Is that healthy? They used to have bursaries – now they have debt. Now we struggle to recruit and retain. I wonder why? Penny pinching in many areas and no proper scrutiny of the money given to NHS is at the bottom of what we have now. Mr. Barclay looks forward to doctors actually doctoring. Well then, stop interfering, get out of the way and let someone who has a clue take over, rather than an intransigent attitude just to show how tough you are. It would be better to settle now rather than in 12 months time he will have to, having no doubt cost more than the settlement, let alone health and lives of the paying public. Another lawyer unsuited to his position.

  3. John McDonald
    April 18, 2023

    If NHS senior Managers are not Doctors or Nurses how can they have any idea ?
    For those Doctors and Nurses wishing to be promoted through a management path in the NHS would help. In reality a Doctor who is a Senior NHS manager would also spend some time keeping his or hand in on the wards. Senior non-medical Mangers can only run the NHS as a Business which it is not.
    I quote from a candidate in the local Wokingham Elections.
    “After finishing my MBA I now work for the NHS as a Business Intelligence Manager”
    This says it all about one of the reasons the NHS is no longer fit for purpose.

  4. Ian B
    April 18, 2023

    So at best the Conservative Government is talking amongst itself, but has no plan to manage the NHS, manage were the taxpayer money goes or ask the NHS management to get a grip. So talk, talk, talk and after 13 years no NHS that actualy works.

    1. Ian B
      April 18, 2023

      @Ian B
      A bit disingenuous of me, the NHS has never worked or has been able to meet demand since inception. The usual Socialist Government (and this is a Socialist Government) failure – one size fits all, regardless of need or requirement. Added to senseless central control from ministers wanting self gratification of being in ‘charge’ and not doing anything.

  5. Jude
    April 18, 2023

    Agree, though technology is a long term commitment. Quick wins are good managers listening to all the various roles difficulties in their work.They deal with these issues daily, so they are the best people to suggest so!utions. Managers only manage process & outcomes by facilitating improvements suggested by the teams! Stop the empire building by managers, that is not in their remit!

  6. forthurst
    April 18, 2023

    The government itself would benefit with some artificial intelligence to supplement its native intelligence which is sadly lacking. Where is the government’s strategy on semiconductor manufacture? Why has the Secretary of State not been replaced during her maternity leave and why in any case is the role of Secretary of State for Science Innovation and Technology being performed by someone with an Arts degree? The chip industry is run by clever people in a hurry; the government needs to keep up or the country will lose out on the highly skilled, highly paid jobs it claims it wants in order to improve our national productivity which is substantially behind our purported peer competitors.

    1. a-tracy
      April 19, 2023

      You know forthurst all very good questions, I don’t know any small business that wouldn’t have to replace someone on maternity leave on, sometimes having to displace several people to fit in the more complex work and leaving the temp to do the overflow that then results. Maternity Leave can be quite a long time now 9-12 months is typical, to not have anyone responsible in position is negligent.

  7. margaret
    April 18, 2023

    I believe that education for registered medical practitioners should be based on health studies. The appropriateness of maths and physics for the young learners should be seriously questioned. Medicine is about preventing ill health and reparation where possible. Most of the science is carried out by the scientists , research and written text, much working out of medication doses is done by the Nurses except for written instructions in the British National Formulary. Technical procedures are done by technicians , radiography etc . Young Drs do not need to be individual scientists ,but they should know about health . I have found that many do not understand the basic principles of health and wellness.

  8. margaret
    April 18, 2023

    A junior Doctor is a person who has a medical degree and is still undergoing clinical training.(BMA) Which ever profession one chooses an academic background is not sufficient training to act out practically. Hospital life is one where ideas and responsibility is shared . i know, having been in the NHS since 1968. Staff do not train and that is the end of learning . It is a process which we all go through and encompasses the notion of profession. Many Nurse practitioners undertake the same role with less remuneration. Medicine and Nursing is changing and the old fashioned way of medical training should change too. The snob value and incorrect perception that these young medics have more responsibility than the Nurse is false. A Dr does not tell a Nurse what to do and he/she carries it out but rather a contract between professions with common knowledge. For instance if a nurse administers incorrect medication because it was prescribed by a Dr then in her professional capacity she would be responsible for that administration. The Nurse should know medication doses a, side effects and when to question wrong prescribing . It perhaps is easier for the Nurse to learn as she will have patients under her care and administer drugs 2 or 3 times a day to those same patients and monitor the effects of the drug in correlation with the disease, thereby recognising changes.. Repetition and autonomous responsibility is still the hub of all care in the NHS. The hierarchy is only there for those who perceive their training better than any other .Training should not be based on a too long University degree . The University does not send tutors in to qualify Drs clinically and yet they claim that their University has trained them and try to take credit. All NHS training should be reviewed.

    1. Mickey Taking
      April 19, 2023

      and numbers of staffing ‘standing around’ which we all see when needing to be in their care.

  9. Berkshire Alan.
    April 18, 2023

    Clearly ignored the part of the question that involved Managers action/non action and their responsibility.

  10. Bloke
    April 18, 2023

    Danny appears to have the right attitude and to be ready for action to do what is best for the UK.

  11. Mickey Taking
    April 18, 2023

    Well, I fear I am one of how many I wonder who has only verbal tip-off of a forthcoming preparation session for daily treatment lasting for a month later. I expect I am not on an operation or procedure backlist, just a queue for possibles – subject to how poor the nurses or junior doctors feel in the days to come! As you might imagine I am starting to anticipate a call announcing its off, or when I have to ring to request appointment details. My sympathy with their plight is fast running out.

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