VIDEO: Parents come out to support junior doctors strike
Dozens of parents showed their support for junior doctors in Worthing during their 48 hour strike.
Armed with signs and banners which said ‘We love our NHS’ and ‘Junior doctors win my vote’, parents and their children stood side by side with junior doctors protesting outside Worthing Hospital.
Sarah Lewis-Hammond, 37, from Worthing set up Support Junior Doctors on Facebook to encourage people to support the strike after a conversation on the Worthing Mums and Dads group page.
She said: “As parents we have all used the NHS at some time so I felt it was really important for us to come down here today.”
Doctors are striking for the fourth time over the government’s imposition of an ‘unfair’ contract, which they believe will be unsafe for patients.
Sarah added: “It’s incredibly dangerous to ask people who are saving your life to work 100 hour weeks. I’ve got a 10-month-old and I know how it feels to be sleep deprived, let alone administering life-saving treatment to someone.”
The parent group were also campaigning against cuts to NHS funding and the government’s treatment of female doctors, which striking staff member Alex Keeley, 29, said punished women who wanted to take maternity leave.
“This is a very regrettable action that we feel we’ve been forced into by a government who have shown no meaningful willingness to renegotiate these contracts.
“We have real concerns about what this means for the future of doctors in training and the future of the service in general,” he said.
Ange Donelan-Bell, 40, from Worthing, helped to organise the protest.
She said: “People need to show support for the work our junior doctors do and show the government that the NHS is ours, and we aren’t going to give it up easily.
“These doctors support us when we’re in need. I had excellent support when I gave birth to my son Max. Now they’re in crisis we need to pay them back.”