Junior doctors began a 48-hour walkout at 8am this morning (Wednesday) to oppose the new contract that Jeremy Hunt says he will impose upon them. Doctors argue that this contract is bad for healthcare workers, bad for patients and part of a plan to dismantle and privatise the NHS. Check back throughout the day for more photos and reports from picket lines around the country!
Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge
The picket line was much better supported this time – more strikers came and other medics stood with them, and more general public and activists, although still not many. Again lots of strikers were surprised and thankful I was there, not being a health worker, which is lovely but wouldn’t it be better if that was the normal and expected thing to do? There were some critical people, but I feel that engaging with people about the dispute went much better this time, some going into a lot of detail about of the contract and the negotiations.
At about 10 some of us moved from the main entrance to outpatient care to reach more people, and also because the group was getting so big. It was quieter there, but we got a lot of support and appreciation from patients, including some who had experienced some inconveniences caused by the strike. Throughout people were keen to take badges and leaflets, and even those who were quite well-informed wanted to learn more. There’s still a shyness about the conversations being more political, but there was a lot more about what’s happening to the NHS more widely.
To reiterate: a successful day of action but they want more support and they want to win. Write the strike days in your diary and get to a hospital to show support, starting 8am tomorrow if you can. – William C
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Manchester Royal Infirmary pickets turn out in force despite the best efforts of the Mancunian weather! – Greater Manchester rs21. If you’re in Manchester head along to their meeting on the Junior Doctors’ dispute and the future of the NHS on Saturday, 2pm, Friends Meeting House, Manchester
Royal Oldham Hospital
North Manchester General Hospital
Pickets at North Manchester General Hospital encouraged by the many honking horns of passing traffic. – Ian A
Whips Cross Hospital, London
Junior Doctors from Whipps Cross Hospital held a ‘Meet the Doctors’ stall outside Leytonstone tube station, offering Basic Life Support demonstrations as way to engage the public. They received lots of support and many people left the stall wearing the distinctive green badges. A passerby explained how he’d been a shop steward at Ford Dagenham when car workers had struck in support of nurses. His message was to keep up the fight against the Tories and to seek support from other groups of workers. – James B
Bristol Royal Infirmary
This morning I went to the picket line at the Royal Infirmary in Bristol. Junior doctors told me that they are getting tired, but the movement is still going on. Last week around 80 junior doctors participated in a meeting preparing the strike. A few nurses were also came down to support the strike on the picket line. – David P
University College Hospital, London
There’s a good showing of strength outside University College Hospital on Euston Road, London this lunchtime, with lots of supporters and passers by signing the Junior Doctors petition against Jeremy Hunts unfair contract. Junior Doctors I talked to feel the public is still overwhelmingly supportive of their action, and are still up for the fight to challenge the imposition of the new contract. This is by far the most important strike in recent times, the future of the NHS, all those working in it, and all those receiving services from it know that the Junior Doctors must win to keep our NHS in public ownership. – Adam DC
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Between 15 and 20 Junior Doctors and supporters, including a nurse, braved the rain to picket the John Radcliffe Hospital this morning – John W