151 Views

Sussex students support junior doctors in strike

Students from Brighton Sussex Medical School (BSMS), alongside other activist groups, attended a picket outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital on 10 February in part of a nationally coordinated protest against proposed changes to junior doctors’ contracts.    

The contract reforms put forward by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, include an 11% rise in basic pay, but will also mean junior doctors will no longer be paid extra for working Saturdays. This change in what constitutes “basic hours” will make it less costly for the NHS to run on weekends, claims Hunt. He said: “Three-quarters of doctors will see a take home pay rise and no trainee working within contracted hours will have their pay cut.”

The British Medical Association, a trade union representing just under 70% of junior doctors in England, has estimated that junior doctors could face pay cuts of between 15 and 30% as a result of the changes, and have called them “unsafe” and “unfair”. 

However, the government has promised to protect the pay of doctors for the first three years, saying that only the 1% of doctors who work lots of overtime may suffer. 

Support for the strike has been widespread in Brighton and Hove, with both medical students and local activist groups voicing their support for the striking junior doctors and student nurses, midwives and AHPs.

Tom Coupe, a 4th year Sussex medical student, said: “The ‘smoking gun’ is the removal of the safe guards to stop foundation trusts (our future employers) from recording our hours and removing financial penalties to them overworking us; hence, the unsafe nature of the contract. Tired doctors already make mistakes and overworked juniors crash their cars after days of punishing shifts.”

When asked whether there were any positive elements of Hunt’s contract, Coupe said: “11% increase in base pay, but overall people would be paid less. A 7-day NHS would be great, but only with the funding to pay for it. You need to hire more doctors and nurses and support workers and that is an expensive reality.”

Another 4th year Sussex medical student, Freddie Dexter, said: “Jeremy Hunt’s proposal is entirely regressive.

“Worker morale in the NHS is already at an all-time low. Every junior doctor is working full time, yet A/E departments are struggling to remain afloat, and bed blocking via shortfalls in social care are putting sustained pressure on hospital beds. Jeremy Hunt and the Conservatives are failing to deal with the true issues at hand. We need to hire more doctors, and increase funding to core services across the board.”

Liam, a first year student at the demonstration, said: “As students, it’s vital that we show our solidarity to both our fellow medical students, and to any strike that deals with the decimation of our public services. Students have historically been early to fight when it comes to standing up for basic working rights and this week should be no different.”

Fletcher Christian, a spokesman for the Facebook group ‘Brighton & Hove Supports Junior Doctors and NHS Nurses said: “Our group was set up by members of the public who place their lives in the hands of junior doctors during key moments in their lives – for example childbirth, critical illness and chronic diseases. We want the people that treat us to be mentally aware enough to deliver the high standard of care needed at those times.”

Groups in attendance at the picket included Brighton Solidarity Federation, an anarcho-syndicalist group with a big presence on Sussex’s campus; the Peoples’ Assembly; Brighton & Hove Labour Party.

Emily Cross

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
509 views1
Campus News
509 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
51 views
Arts
51 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
94 views
Arts
94 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
93 views
Arts
93 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
116 views
Arts
116 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
137 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
150 views
Arts
150 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
141 views
Arts
141 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
228 views
Campus News
228 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
107 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
211 views
Arts
211 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
140 views
Arts
140 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
212 views
Artist Focus
212 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
146 views
Interview
146 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
215 views
Arts
215 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
238 views
Arts
238 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
276 views
Arts
276 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
191 views
Artist Focus
191 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
200 views
Books
200 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
255 views
Science
255 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
265 views
News
265 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…