Dear Jeremy

Dear Jeremy,

I write to you as a junior doctor on the verge of becoming a consultant. I write to you as a family member with young nephews and a niece, and parents about to enter older age. I write to you as a patient dying of cancer. Therefore the NHS is a central and vital part of my life. 

Three weeks ago I came pretty close to dying from a serious consequence of cancer therapy. It was the junior doctors and nurses, not the Consultants who got me better from that episode. The professionalism and compassion from these young people was amazing. 

Junior doctors have a huge amount of responsibility, even from day one after graduation. I’ve saved a fair few lives in my career. I’ve also been so tired that I could barely see straight after my seventh consecutive night shift. Protecting our young doctors so they can work, develop and flourish is essential and as Secretary of State is part of your responsibility. Rewarding them properly for their dedication and hard work is only fair…

I was a junior doctor when the MTAS debacle happened which saw many of my friends and colleagues leave the country. Many have since returned, but your plan will see a much larger exodus of young talented doctors to the rest of the world.

Please do not impose your ridiculously unfair contract on us. Sadly I think we are probably only your first target; no doubt you will be coming for the nurses, midwifes, physiotherapists, dieticians, speech therapists, ward clerks next… The NHS is a cornerstone of the United Kingdom. I am proud to work for it and would not want to receive cancer treatment anywhere else. Please do not destroy it for future generations. 

An extremely worried and angry doctor and patient,


13 thoughts on “Dear Jeremy

  1. Agree completely. Junior doctors are so important, work so hard and are always approachable , much more than consultants, even after long shifts.

  2. Thank you Kate,

    So well said as always. Our wonderful NHS needs more great advocates like you.

    Now …if only he would listen!!

  3. agree totally, and so sorry to hear you nearly died 3 weeks ago. keep strong lovely Kate.

    my hospital is about to have a quality inspection, and I have mentioned your campaign and the fact that I had an awake operation with noone at all introducing themselves or even speaking to me, or looking at my face. I am not a piece of meat on a butcher’s slab! however, I do try to see the other person’s point of view, I met the registrar surgeon 3 weeks later, he is very caring but shy, he completely excised the cancer, and did a brilliant job on my skin graft (I am told), so I sent him a thankyou letter.

  4. Well said! A well informed opinion from the perspective of doctor and patient. Thank you for all your posts I find them enlightening and give me the determination to give quality care. Let’s live in hope we keep our NHS going! The junior doctors are already stretched to the limit its an absolutely appalling expectation which will impact on patient safety.
    Penny (oncology chemo/staff nurse)

  5. Excellent letter, thank you Kate. As a former surgical trainee messed around by MMC, I marched in 2007. I’m not sure doctors were listened to then, and there is little to convince me that the politicians will listen now I’m a GP. But let’s hope current efforts, marches and great letters like yours will get noticed and more importantly, acted upon!

    Hope you are feeling better after your poorly episode a couple of weeks ago.

  6. Pingback: Dear Jeremy | Health Blog Round-up |

  7. Pingback: Dear Jeremy | Diary of a Dead Man Walking.

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