Junior hospital doctors protest central London - 17th October 2015


This was the view looking down on 20,000 protesters - 90% junior doctors - filling Waterloo Place at the south end of Regent Street on Saturday mid-afternoon. It was so packed that you could hardly squeeze between the shoulders of the young men and women, a sea of NHS blue placards held aloft.



Around twenty SOH campaigners supported the junior doctors' protest on Saturday and we learned a lot from the many thousands of medics marching.

We heard British Medical Association Chair Dr Malawana explain that government proposals threaten pay cuts of 30% for some, with "normal hours" defined as 7.00 - 22.00 every day but Sunday. We learned that following Jeremy Hunt's decision to impose a contract  the BMA has voted to ballot its junior members for industrial action.

We saw what a misleading term "junior doctors" is - the dispute affects all hospital doctors who are not consultants and many medics yesterday were spending a precious Saturday off with their children demonstrating to defend the already limited family time off they have. The chants made it clear this was a dispute about the quality of NHS care as well as pay and hours and the slogans were witty: "NHS - Not Hunt's Slaves" "We're not Witches Stop the Hunt"  "We need to talk about Jeremy".

Lots of medics and students from Imperial were there and hopefully links are being made that will strengthen the side of all those committed to our local NHS.