21 July 2015


Dear Jeremy*,

Thank you so much for criticising doctors (and particularly consultants) in the NHS for not working weekends, and in particular for saying that the absence of consultants leads to 6000 deaths in the UK each year.

I've been a doctor in the NHS for four years now, and let me tell you of my experiences (I'm going to bullet-point it so that it's easy to understand):
  • I have never worked a weekend in a hospital where I haven't worked with a consultant.
  • The last set of night-shifts that I worked, the consultant was still in the hospital when I arrived at 10pm, I spoke to him again at 2am, and he was back in the hospital again at 8am.
  • I've seen the medical director for the hospital at 3am on more than one occasion, and many, many senior nursing staff in overnight at weekends.
  • I have never worked a weekend where a patient needed an urgent intervention or senior decision and it wasn't possible.
  • I've missed family weddings (my cousin), my grandmother's 80th birthday, and multiple birthday parties for nieces and nephews.
    • My mother still hasn't truly forgiven me for missing some of them.
  • I don't think that we're badly paid, but trying to suggest changing our contract again so that we all get a pay cut is fairly low. Especially in the same week that all politicians get a backdated 10% pay rise.
I've worked hard to get where I am today, and I care passionately about the NHS, but perhaps Jeremy Hunt needs to look deeper at the sacrifices that doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, healthcare assistants, porters, radiographers, paramedics and technicians all make in order to try and make our NHS great.

Read more information about the backstory on this in The Guardian article

*Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health

07 July 2015

10 years ago

Ten years ago today I was working in a hospital, cleaning up and finishing off domestic work. I hadn't started medical school at that point, and it was summer break from university.

The news said that there had been power surges all over the underground in London, and that further news would be updated.

It was the day after the UK had won the bid for the Olympic Games for 2012.

I didn't think a great deal of it at the time. I carried on working, along with other staff.

Only as the morning went on, did we hear more about what had really happened.

I remember being horrified at what we were hearing; co-ordinated terror attacks on public transport.

My thoughts are with the families of those who died, and the survivors who are reliving it today.