Video: Junior doctors stage second walk out from Lincolnshire’s hospitals

The second junior doctors’ strike inside a month is well underway, with a picket line outside Lincoln County Hospital’s main entrance on Wednesday, February 10.

Around 250 appointments and 10 operations have been cancelled by hospitals across Lincolnshire because of the industrial action, which has seen doctors walk out and provide only emergency care for 24 hours.

Doctors have organised the strike in protest at Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposed changes to their contracts.

This strike follows a previous walk out on January 12 and plans for industrial action on January 26 were shelved following discussions between the government and British Medical Association (BMA).

Francis Kynaston-Pearson, a junior doctor at Lincoln County Hospital, said: “I’m on strike for my patients to ensure that they are going to be in a safe NHS for the future.

“I’m on strike for my wife to ensure that she has a husband that can actually come home at night and isn’t completely overwhelmed by work.

“I’m on strike for my son and for my family to make sure that they grow up in an NHS that exists free at the point of access.

“I’m on strike for my medical colleagues to make sure that we can have a safe and workable contract for the future of the NHS.”

Tom Smart, a junior doctor and also local union representative for the BMA, said: “The public have been incredibly supportive.

“Personally, my views are that if the government’s going to carry on threatening to enforce this contract, then we’d be forced to say that we’d carry on striking.”

Junior doctors on the picket line outside Lincoln County Hospital on February 10. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Junior doctors on the picket line outside Lincoln County Hospital on February 10. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Reactions

The strike has generated significant discussion on social media, with hundreds of readers of The Lincolnite voicing their opinions on Facebook.

One of those supporting the strike, Bernadette Hargreaves, said: “They work very hard for their patients, these new contracts risk patient safety.

“Junior doctors already do ridiculous hours, to expect more from them for less is unfair and demoralises the entire profession from the day they qualify.”

Jack Drake said: “Fully in support, it’s not about wages. It’s about the amount they’re expected to work stretching a 5-day NHS with holes in it to a 7-day NHS ripped apart.”

An angry motorist makes clear his feelings on the junior doctors' strike of January 12. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Angry motorist Stephen Minister makes clear his feelings on the junior doctors’ strike of January 12. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Stephen Minister, who drove up to the picket line at the previous strike in January, was again one of those opposed to the industrial action.

He said: “They are not making Jeremy Hunt, nor the Tories suffer.

“They are making 250 local Lincolnshire outpatients suffer, who have had their appointments cancelled. They are also putting pressure on their colleagues who have chosen not to strike.

“Plus they have made the 10 people suffer, who were due to have their operations today which have now been cancelled.”

Sean Gilbert added: “Get back to work like the rest of us! Putting people’s lives at risk is utterly greedy and selfish.”