The junior doctors’ grassroots campaign group, Remedy UK, has announced that it has closed, citing an inability to sustain its management and leadership, as the reason.
Remedy UK was set up in November 2006, prompted by concerns about implementation of the training reforms (Modernising Medical Careers) and employment strategy in the NHS, and the lack of what it saw as an effective voice for junior doctors, particularly from the BMA. In its heyday, it claimed to have Remedy reps in most hospitals.
One of its fiercest battles was waged against the online Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) recruitment process for junior doctors. It initiated a judicial review of the scheme, during which flaws in the matching algorithm were discovered. The site was shelved in 2007 amid allegations of persistent security breaches.
A statement on the group’s site announcing the closure on Tuesday says: “After five years of campaigns, direct action, courtroom battles and the occasional march we are unable to sustain the management and leadership that an effective Remedy needs. We have therefore decided to close with immediate effect.”
It continues: “We are immensely proud of everything that our small committee and 12,000 supporters have managed to achieve during this time. Remedy was about providing the legitimacy and security to passionate medics who wanted to challenge the views of the establishment.”
Its most recent challenge was posted earlier this week in response to the BMA’s ballot of its members on taking action against pension reforms.
“It is hard to find anyone who seriously believes that cancelling a few out-patient clinics and some elective operations will cause the government to change its mind over doctors’ pensions,” says the Remedy statement.
It goes on to say that not only will a strike be ineffective, but also positively harmful.
“Striking over changes to our pay would undermine everything that it means to be a professional. It would demean us in the eyes of the public and, at a time of recession and general economic uncertainty, it would portray us as avaricious and greedy.”
Although the group has disbanded, the intention is that the website will continue in some form, possibly as a blog.