Last month, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt claimed to have won the Dept of Health (DH)’s court case against ‘junior doctors’ (who are actually any doctor below consultant level).
A group of doctors had brought the case against Hunt’s planned imposition of a new contract which, in spite of government double-speak, will overstretch them even further for less pay and present a danger to patients. It’s clear to anyone that this plan is just the next step in impoverishing our NHS and its staff in order to eventually end it as a national provision, ‘free at the point of need’.
The DH ‘won’ the case by claiming they’re not planning to ‘impose’ the new contract, but are simply recommending it – in spite of Hunt telling the House of Commons on more than one occasion that he would.
Hunt’s apparent backtracking meant that the DH’s ‘win’ was more like a win for the doctors. However, evidence has emerged that the Health Secretary may have perjured himself (or had others do it for him) in order to win the case.
Last week, at least one NHS trusts sent emails to their ‘junior’ doctors about their contracts. The emails contained the following threat:
Firing someone for not signing is bad enough. Adding the threat that their training will be ended and the time already spent training will be invalidated is the worst kind of coercion.
If it looks like imposition, walks like imposition and quacks like imposition, it’s not ‘recommending’. And delegating the dirty work doesn’t absolve Jeremy Hunt for misleading a court in order to win a case brought justly against you.
The police must immediately begin an investigation into Hunt’s apparent perjury – and prosecute him to the full extent of the law if they find any evidence that Hunt’s ‘recommendation’ has been a de facto imposition.
Share this to raise awareness and build pressure, so they can’t avoid their duty.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should also hammer the government on this at the next PMQs and Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott should do the same at the next health questions.