Thank you to all those who contacted me about junior doctors’ pay.
We owe junior doctors and all NHS staff our full support. Day in, day out, they make an incredible contribution to our health service; their bravery and selfless dedication throughout the pandemic represent the very best of our society. I know that people in our constituency and across the country have the upmost respect and admiration for the work they do.
Health professionals face ever-increasing pressures as the NHS continues to deal with backlogs that will take years to clear. Despite the remarkable efforts of staff, I am concerned that years of neglect and mismanagement by the Government has resulted in record NHS waiting lists and chronic staff shortages.
Our health service entered the pandemic with 100,000 vacancies. Years of pay freezes and burnout are affecting hard-pressed staff; work-related stress has increased, and mental health is consistently the most reported reason for staff absence.
Without a robust long-term workforce strategy, our NHS will simply not be in a place to provide the support that patients need now and in the future. We know that valuing our NHS workforce, through fair pay and conditions, is crucial to retaining staff and tackling the many vacancies across the NHS.
I urge the Government to recognise and reward the bravery and sacrifices of junior doctors. Without the much needed investment in the workforce, NHS trusts across England will be unable to recover lost capacity, address growing treatment backlogs or bring down record waiting lists. This is therefore not just a moral imperative but also crucial for the future functioning of our NHS.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue.