The national debate over junior doctors’ contracts is keenly felt in Southwark – with our three major hospitals employing thousands of medical staff. So it is disappointing that neither of the Chief Executives from Guy’s &?St Thomas’ and King’s would agree to an interview with this paper.
Not only the junior doctors themselves, but all those who use these flagship hospital trusts, will wonder what those who run the organisations think about the government’s decision to impose new contracts. Do they support the government – which argues that change is needed in the drive to fulfil an election pledge to provide a seven day a week NHS? Or do they support many of their staff who believe they will be overworked and that the new working conditions will affect their ability to care for people?
We asked, repeatedly, whether either Chief Exec would agree to an interview, to set out their views on this thorny issue, but received only bland, short statements from the trusts, stating that they were following national developments.
Both of these huge hospital trusts are leaders in the field – achieving incredible things each year, treating and helping thousands of local people. So surely it’s not unreasonable for us to expect them to take a lead on an issue that affects so many people – rather than simply follow national events from the sidelines?