News this morning of the government’s failure to listen to its front-line employees in the NHS is unsurprising, but felt with a heavy heart. I am tired: I am tired of fighting this unsafe and unfair contract. And I am frustrated: I am frustrated that we are not been listened to by our employer. But mostly I am fearful: if Mr Hunt continues to proceed with this imposition, then I fear that this will be the beginning of the end of our much-loved NHS – not to mention a threat to the safety of innumerable patients.
Throughout this scandal it is fair to say the majority of us have felt insulted by the patronising nature of Mr Hunt. We are highly educated and well respected members of society. The majority of us would never dream of misinterpreting data for our own gain, especially if we are aware that the consequences would cause great harm to patients. Mr Hunt’s claim that we are only against the contract because of the BMA is quite frankly insulting and absurd.
To presume that we are foolish enough to not read evidence and to make our own interpretation of the data is wrong – that is what we do; that is how we practice medicine. As evidence-based medicine is such a fundamental to our care, misinterpretation of data is seen as a serious and potentially disciplinary event – just look at the case of Andrew Wakefield.