MP on Junior Doctors strike

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Local MP, Antoinette Sandbach has said that many of her constituents are rightly concerned that Junior Doctors have decided to include emergency cover in their strike action and that this will have adverse impacts on local hospital services.

Ms Sandbach recently discussed local hospital services in Parliamentary debate with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, praising staff working extra hours at the Countess of Chester and Leighton Hospital but condemned the strike action saying:

"Does not the recent leak of emails from members of the junior doctors committee last week show that they utterly reject any compromise and that any offer at this stage is simply not a serious offer?"

The Health Secretary replied by saying:
"I thank my hon. Friend for what she says about consultants in her local trust and, indeed, up and down the country, as well as nurses, paramedics and many other people who will be working to keep the public safe. I salute all of them.

"She is absolutely right: those leaked emails show that those on the junior doctors committee know that had they been prepared to negotiate on Saturday pay we would not have had an imposed contract, so it was completely in their hands to avoid this outcome. They chose not to do that; they wanted war. That was a totally irresponsible thing to do.

"They need to recognise that the way we will build a safer NHS is by sitting round and talking to a Government who want to create it."

Ms Sandbach who describes herself as 'committed to delivering a truly 7 day a week NHS commented yesterday: "There is clear evidence from independent medical studies that those admitted at weekends have worse outcomes than those admitted during the week.

"Given the 3 years of negotiations, and the fact that the only substantive issue left in dispute is the treatment of Saturday working, and the way in which these negotiations have been conducted by the BMA, the decision has been taken that it is not right to expect patients to continue to suffer worse outcomes whilst the BMA seeks to drag out the negotiations further."

"The new contract reduces the hours of Junior Doctors and increases their pay, by 13%."

"I am deeply concerned that lives will be put at risk by those Doctors who are striking, and I went to Leighton Hospital on Friday to discuss the implications. The clear conclusion that I received from that meeting is that lives will be lost. That is something that I can not countenance on behalf of my constituents."