(Comments gathered from around the web. All positive views of Hunt’s behaviour have been shamelessly ignored but there were hardly any.)
Most embarrassingly for the government, the daughter of former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, herself a junior NHS doctor, has called for Jeremy Hunt to be sacked, accusing the health secretary of misusing statistics and alienating “an entire generation of junior doctors”
Then there is increasing criticism from fellow Tory politicians. For example, Dr Dan Poulter MP, who was a health minister until last May and who led the early negotiations on the junior doctors’ new contract in 2014, described Hunt’s decision on Thursday as “a dark day for the NHS and the future of medicine”.
But most vitriolic are ordinary Conservative voters:
Hunt may have won the battle but has certainly lost the war.
When all is said and done, I think Hunt’s behaviour has been appalling and I don’t think we have heard the end of this.
Could anyone really say they would happily argue for Hunt’s imposition of the contract on the doorstep?
I object to the ham-fisted way in which Mr Hunt has conducted the negotiations and his serious misrepresentation of the deal he has imposed on junior doctors.
Patients and the electorate are not going to believe any politician from any party when it comes to what is and is not in the best interests of patient care. They are going to trust the doctors.
Junior doctors had nothing to do with Mid-Staffs and Morecambe Bay and to suggest otherwise is very disingenuous.
Mr Hunt you always sound extremely plausible when I hear you speak and the deal you have offered does not seem bad to me at all. But so many people accuse you of dishonesty that I do wonder if there’s no smoke without fire? If you have been dishonest in the past please ensure that you have learned your lesson and will be straightforward and honest from now. It is the best policy now and always.
Asking doctors to work anti social hours for, in many cases, a net pay cut. The 13% basic award is designed to distract public opinion away from the reduction in special payments.
The new contract seeks to extend anti social hours of working, without increasing staffing levels, but significantly reduced or eliminated special payments.
The BMA offer (rejected by Hunt personally when NHSE apparently thought it ok) was to cut the basic pay rise to 5.6% (from 11) and keep Saturdays as OOH. It was pay neutral. Doctors think working on Saturdays counts as anti-social. Hunt says not. I’m with the doctors on this one.
The NHS is already dangerously over-reliant on locum doctors who are paid ridiculously large amounts compared to junior doctors. Hunt’s action will increase rather than reduce this over-reliance and will increase the number of doctors who emigrate when they qualify, which is already significant, rather than work in the NHS.
A perfectly fair, cost neutral solution, acceptable to NHS employers was vetoed by Hunt. Crass pigheadedness! And for what gain?
A pay deal that leaves more than a few doctors worse off, not as many as the initial proposals, but still enough to be of concern. I have not had to take a pay cut in my career but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (except perhaps bankers) let alone doctors who have to work weekends, nights and be on call.
Jeremy Hunt should resign now. He’s a disaster for the whole of the U.K., he has alienated an entire profession. He has caused untold harm for years to come as talented young doctors seriously now look elsewhere. Unless this man is thrown out of office, disasters such as these will continue.
A very sad episode this and not good to see these talented hard working people so angry with the government.
Just go Jeremy and do it soon and allow the next minister chance to repair the damage both to the NHS and us politically before it’s too late
Do the decent thing and resign now Mr Hunt.
Had labour done this we on here, quite rightly, would’ve been slaughtering them, the fact it’s actually us that are doing this is all the more painful
Are we trying to install Corbyn in number 10?
A petition calling for a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt has collected over 133 thousand votes in less than 24h. This means that the petition will have to be considered by a Parliamentary committee and has the potential to end up as a debate in the House of Commons.
But let’s not forget that it was a great surprise when Jeremy Hunt was brought in to replace Andrew Lansley (after what another Tory voter called his ‘£3 billion of pointless reorganisation’). After revelations of Hunt’s dodgy dealings with Murdoch over the failed bid to take over BSkyB, it was expected that he would be quietly dropped not promoted… but there is more …
(Hat tip Tom Pride)
“The BMA has continued to table proposals to settle the dispute. The fact that the Health Secretary is now simply trying to impose his will rather than negotiate, demonstrates a lack of confidence in his own arguments.
Strange but true… it seems that many Conservative supporters are more in tune with Jeremy Corbyn over this, than they are with Jeremy Hunt and their own government.