Junior doctors who took part in strike action over a contract dispute have thanked the people of Sheffield for their support on the picket lines.
Medics across the city took part in a second day of all-out strike action during which no emergency care was provided for patients by junior doctors from 8am until 5pm.
Many instead took part in pickets outside Sheffield’s hospitals before attending a larger rally outside City Hall.
Hospital trusts across the city ensured that they had ‘robust’ measures in place to deal with the loss of staff taking part in strike action.
Several junior doctors who attended the rally were full of praise for the people of Sheffield who supported them during the walk-out.
Naadir Ansari, aged 33, has been a junior doctor for 10 years. He decided to join industrial action over what he called the ‘unsafe’ contract being imposed by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
“The contract that is going to be imposed is a dangerous one,” he said.
“It’s something I never thought I would do by going on strike, I can’t believe it’s got to this point.
“Mr Hunt has made a mess of the whole situation. I don’t know how he can look himself in the mirror at night and call himself a health secretary. Their own manifesto even says that doctors and nurses know what’s best for the NHS and that message isn’t coming through.
“Mr Hunt could end this right now and come back to the negotiating table.”
Ele Achimuga, 35, a junior doctor of 12 years, thanked the people of Sheffield for their support.
“The people of Sheffield are on our side as a whole. We’ve had so much support from them patients and their families coming up to us outside the Children’s Hospital with sweets and cake, loads of people honking their car horns.”
Junior doctor Olly Jackson pondered what was next after the two-day strike.
“We want Mr Hunt to talk to us again. This is about keeping patients safe and this contract will put them at risk due to doctors being stretched across the week.”