A HUDDERSFIELD doctor was in Westminster today to confront Government ministers over the state of the NHS.
Mohib Khan, a consultant at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, was leading a delegation to 10, Downing Street.
And his message to new Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Health Minister Alan Johnson is: Morale among the doctors is at an all-time low.
Mr Khan, of Edgerton, was in Downing Street at the head of a delegation from the British Medical Association.
He heads a committee looking at staff and associate specialists’ working lives and said there was a tremendous negative feeling at the moment.
He was handing over a petition signed by more than 4,000 senior doctors and consultants, including about 80 working in Huddersfield.
In November 2006, the negotiated NHS contract went to health ministers and the Public Sector Pay Committee for clearance so that the BMA could ballot SAS doctors on the new contract’s acceptability. So far that clearance has not been given and the ballot is blocked.
Mr Khan, chairman of the BMA’s SAS Committee, said today:
“SAS doctors are vital to the NHS and we spend almost 100% of our time delivering direct clinical care.
“There are about 12,500 of us in the UK and yet most people are unaware of our existence. All other groups of UK doctors, GPs, consultants and juniors have had their new contracts and yet we have been left demoralised and frustrated. The new Prime Minister can show he values us by unblocking the contract deal and giving us the chance to vote on it.”
Mr Khan was one of the heroes of the 7/7 bombings when he and fellow BMA members rushed from their headquarters to help the terribly-injured victims of the Tavistock Square bus bomb.
Mr Khan said: “I chair a committee of the BMA and we are extremely concerned about doctors’ morale within the health service.
“Morale is extremely low and that is very worrying for the patients.
“The conditions for senior doctors have not been improved for some time. A new agreement has been talked about by the Government have been sitting on it since last year, despite it being acceptable to the BMA.
“We are now actively lobbying the Government to put this new agreement into practice.”
Mr Khan was joined in Downing Street by other senior members of the BMA.
Earlier, he and BMA members enjoyed a happier appointment when they were introduced to the Association’s new patron, the Princess Royal.
She greeted delegates at their annual conference in Torquay.