On Friday 12 November I attended a service of dedication at the Euston fire station for a plaque to commemorate three firemen who were killed during the blitz. Michael Pinchen, a former fireman, gave a most moving explanation of the events that led to their deaths. He has kindly agreed for me to circulate it more widely, with some images from the service. At the end is a description of the charity WW2 Firemen and Firewomen Remembrance Group, which organised this event, and a little about Mr Pinchen. Keir Continue reading
I was delighted to welcome some sixty Holborn & St. Pancras residents to the House of Commons last Thursday. We held it just off the historic Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the the Palace of Westminster, dating back to 1097. There was plenty of lively discussion, with contributions from two of our Camden councillors, Pat Callaghan and Georgia Gould. Continue reading
Jeremy Hunt has been attempting to force a new contact on junior doctors. It would cut their pay by between 15% and 40% and force longer hours on them. Women who decide to have children and anyone doing research would be particularly severely effected. Not surprisingly, they are furious – and quite rightly. The plan is not only a scandal, it would put patients at risk. Many are now so fed up they have began planning to leave Britain altogether! A poll of more than 6,000 trainees found 42 per cent of junior doctors said they would go abroad in search of work if the government went ahead with its plans. At the heart of the dispute was an attempt to cut their pay by between 15% and 40% and force longer hours on them. What is really disturbing is that the Conservative government are prepared to go this far with an institution we all love and rely on: the NHS. Continue reading
You may have seen the news yesterday that Jeremy Hunt has finally caved in and attempted to head off a damaging strike by junior doctors. I wrote a blog post about it yesterday – you can read it here. That this protest has gone as far as it did is an indication of how out of touch the Conservatives are with the health service. To extract these concessions the junior doctors had to threaten to take industrial action, something few of them wanted to see. The government must now act with more respect for the NHS and those who work for it With this in mind, I have called an emergency open meeting about this issue for Wednesday 14th October at 8pm in the Paget Room at BMA House, Tavistock Square, WC1H 9JP. Two BMA junior doctors have confirmed they will speak – Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, a local junior doctor, and Dr. Johann Malawana, Chair of the Junior Doctors Committee. We’d love to have people come along and join the discussion with us, particularly those with a background in, or keen interest in, healthcare. We need to provide a list of attendees so please RSVP to Ashley at email@example.com with the subject line ‘BMA open meeting’.
It was standing room only for anyone who arrived late at last Friday’s housing seminar. There was a real buzz of energy and engagement as around 100 people packed into a hall at the British Library. We had to ferry chairs in – and still some were left in the corridor! From all the work I do – in my surgeries and from my correspondence – this is a key issue. I introduced the expert speakers, then listened to what they and the remarkably well informed audience had to say. Continue reading