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John Stillwell/PA Wire
UK News

Christian junior doctor says strikes are "last resort"

Melody Redman, a junior doctor in Yorkshire, was speaking as the first strike by junior doctors in 40 years gets underway and 40 thousand walk out across England in a row over new contracts

Doctors say the government is making them work longer hours for less pay by cutting night, bank holiday and weekend pay, which will in turn put patients and staff at risk.

The government says it wants to create a seven-day NHS, and that it's offered an 11% rise in basic pay which doctors refused.

She told Premier: "This really is the last resort because it's something that's so important to us and we really feel so strongly about."

British Medical Association members say they will only provide emergency treatments, and thousands of operations have been cancelled.

Melody Redman said that her faith was part of this decision: "I think as a Christian I love working for the NHS and I think it's really a privilege to work for an organisation that teaches you value people as equals regardless of choices they've made in their life, regardless of their social status of ability to pay for care.

"And I really want to do all that I can to ensure that the NHS carries on and to make sure that's its adequately staffed and that it's safe.

"As a junior doctor I see what happens on the wards and I want to continue to provide the best care that I can for my patients, because I believe that that's my active service.

"It's a joy to be able to work for an organisation that does value those things and I think that that's really something to treasure and hold on to and that's partly why I'm fighting so hard for this."

John Stillwell/PA Wire

She told Premier that doctors want their time to be better valued: "We already work evenings, weekends, nights, I was on night shifts over Christmas.

"I've work 12 and a half hour shifts over the last weekend.

"But this is about making sure that that's valued as being an unsocial working hour."

Around 100 picket lines have been put in place, with a large concentration in and around London.

The NHS Choir gathered outside Great Ormond Street Hospital to lend its support to striking doctors.

A 48-hour strike will also take place from 8am on January 26 and February 10.

John Stillwell/PA Wire

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Melody Redman here:

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