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Medical negligence solicitor’s angry speech to junior doctors goes viral

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“The government has declared war on the people in this country,” roars Simpson Millar’s Peter Stefanovic

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An outspoken partner of a leading medical negligence firm has taken the internet by storm after a video of an angry speech he made at a rally went viral.

The video — which shows the impassioned solicitor at an anti-government, pro-junior doctors rally in Newcastle over the weekend — has racked up over 24,000 views on Facebook.

My angry speech in support of Junior doctors at yesterday's Northern rally has had over 5,000 views in 4 hours, it…

Posted by Peter Stefanovic on Sunday, 10 April 2016

The man behind the speech is Peter Stefanovic, a London-based partner at medical negligence outfit Simpson Millar. Addressing a large group of protesters, the rousing piece of oratory includes fierce lines like “the government has declared war on the people in this country” and “no elected government in this country has the right to bully and intimidate 53,000 people into accepting a contract that is unsafe, that’s unfair and that’s discriminatory”.

The new junior doctors contract has proved a contentious talking point in recent months. There are real concerns from doctors and members of the general public alike that NHS staff will be worse off under the health secretary’s proposed contract changes. This fear has led to rallies, strike action, and now a crowdfunded judicial review challenge.

Some commentators — like the queen of controversy herself, Katie Hopkins — have dismissed junior doctors’ concerns and accused them of greed. But for University of Wolverhampton grad Stefanovic, NHS staff have every reason to be worried, and need to continue their fight against the government.

It’s interesting that a medical negligence solicitor, whose work depends on mistakes and mishaps by hospital staff, would speak out in favour of junior doctors so publicly. But it’s clearly an issue he feels very strongly about — he even describes himself on his LinkedIn page as a “Medical Negligence Lawyer and NHS supporter”.

But it’s not just Stefanovic taking an interest. The junior doctor dispute has been followed closely by lawyers on social media since it began. This may be because the profession is typically fascinated with and attached to ideas of justice and fairness, and there are genuine questions about the legality of Jeremy Hunt’s contract.

Stefanovic taps into this in his rant when he claims that there is simply “so much injustice in this contract I just don’t know where to begin”. He adds:

I’m a lawyer Mr Hunt. I can tell you that imposition is not a negotiation, it’s bloody bullying.

The solicitor, who specialises in representing cerebral palsy patients, finishes his stirring speech by encouraging the gathering crowd to “fight on”, and attempts to start a chant of “unite and fight”.

32 Comments

Anonymous

Ooh I should stand outside No.10 and record a video of me shouting all about Mossack Fonseca, and post it on my Facebook page to drum up my business.

(15)(27)

Anonymous

Alternative headline: “shouty lawyer with shaky grasp of healthcare economics makes pitch to raise his own personal profile and subsequently win business from the medical profession”

(35)(43)

Anon

‘It’s interesting that a medical negligence solicitor, whose work depends on mistakes and mishaps by hospital staff, would speak out in favour of junior doctors so publicly’. Being a medical negligence solicitor doesn’t mean that you hate doctors. If anything he’s more likely than most to comment objectively and unbiasedly on the unsafeness of the new contract.

(46)(5)

Anonymous

Or rather, maybe he wants a more dangerous NHS so that his business flourishes.

(7)(38)

Anonymous

But supporting junior doctors in the current dispute ≠ a more dangerous NHS.

(21)(5)

Anonymous

Wait until the next strike when they stop emergency services…

(5)(7)

Anonymous

Now that is a real unprofessional statement or even comment to make

(3)(6)

Anonymous

ANON 1:41 is absolutely correct. It is not about hating the NHS!!! Being a Clin Neg lawyer/firm is to highlight the fact that under-staffing and under-funding leads to MISTAKES! This is vital in ensuring that the Gov knows how important it is that the money reaches these areas.

(27)(5)

Uncle Joe

He would no doubt be happier with Comrade Corbyn in charge.

Comrade Peter – no one cares about your puerile rants.

Hopefully the SRA will investigate him…

(15)(38)

Steven

Speaking as a doctor who had the pleasure of meeting Peter in Newcastle, it is nice to know there are lawyers out there who fight for something because they believe in it rather than purely out of self interest or to make money. Unfortunately, for every Peter there is probably at least one ‘Uncle Joe’ out there.

(31)(9)

Kevin

Glad uncle Joe is not my uncle.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Self serving twat

(11)(5)

Anonymous

If you remove his job from his speech, he is bloody right!!!

Jeremy Hunt would be expected to commit suicide if he was making these decisions in Japan.

(8)(4)

Jonathan ROBSON

Theys anoymous people who oppossed what this Lawyer said ,have not the guts to leave thier name .probable tory MPs .I agree 100% what he said this goverment would love to give this great institution to there rich friends .We are having a referendom on europe why not give us a referendom on the NHS .They know what the out come would be,this government stinks .

(6)(8)

Anonymous

Those that have been following the Junior Doctors’ strikes will know that Peter has been involved for many months and has done a huge amount of work to support the cause. This has included filming interviews, providing opinion and coming to many of the rallies. He’s valued greatly by the JD Grass Roots team.

To suggest that this is a one-off sound bite designed to drum up work/publicity is nonsense.

(12)(6)

Henry V

No doctor is obliged to accept a new contract.
There may be doctors around the world who
would be willing to swap places for the facilities,
prospects, pension and income provided by the
NHS.

(9)(7)

Greg

If no-one is ever allowed to complain, because there’s always someone worse off, then you just end up with a race to the bottom, which helps no-one. Anyway, doctors pay is only part of this, there is a patient care issue. 7 into 5 doesn’t go

(4)(4)

Anonymous

Whatever the truth behind the various claims it is at least certain that the medical profession has degraded itself by going on strike.

The reputation of teachers never recovered from the strikes of the ’80s. As respect for teachers diminished they became ever more belligerent. Teachers are now regarded as just a collection of self-serving activists. Doctors should look at that profession and ask themselves if that’s the profile they want in the future.

The Criminal Bar’s strikes were also foolish but were so ineffectual (and comical) that nobody took much notice.

(5)(7)

Anonymous

Save for the fact that the government has now reversed its position on its legal reforms.

So… effectual and vital. Just the two differences…

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Apart from the change coming from a new Minister who didn’t introduce the cuts and who reversed many of his predecessor’s policies (books in prison, courts charge etc), none of which anyone went on strike about, and in the face of a blizzard of legal challenges…you’re spot on. It’s the strikes wot won it. Obviously.

(1)(0)

Greg

What should they have done instead?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The doctors? They should have continued to press their case with the government (deaf ears or not), the opposition, the media and all other opinion formers. There will be plenty of discussion of the state of the NHS in the future – it’s a national obsession after all – and the medics have plenty of political friends. Opportunities to get what they want will not be scarce.

If sympathy and trust – and dignity – ebb away, though, they will find it much harder to get a sympathetic hearing. Even Labour is suspicious of industrial strong-arm tactics when it’s the middle class throwing its weight around.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Question; Is Peter Stefanovic going to stop suing junior doctors? His rants are rank hypocrosy of the worst kind.

(8)(5)

Anonymous

Exactly – the likes of Stefanovic make me ashamed to be a lawyer.

(9)(5)

Anonymous

Another day and another blog post on the ‘unsafe’ contract being imposed on junior doctors.

Just once I would like to read which part of the contract, specifically, puts patients at risk. It is important to remember that under this new contract hours are reduced and pay is increased!

Of all people, you would have thought lawyers, whose job it is to go through paperwork and contracts with a fine tooth comb, could explain to the public precisely why this contract is so dangerous.

But no, I see this article is no better than the rest.

I get it, the Tories are unpopular, but politics is serious business. So instead of being a shill for the left, why not report some, y’know, facts?

(7)(4)

Anonymous

This site is frequented by university students, who are more often than not supporters of the Left. Hardly surprising that they oppose anything Tory.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

My partner is a junior Dr. She covers 300 patients by herself on a night shift because there aren’t enough Dr’s on the rota. The government have the same amount of Dr’s and they are now saying they are going to spread them even more thinly across 7 days. For example this might mean being rota’d to do night shifts Thursday – Sunday followed by day shifts starting Tuesday. That ‘day off’ is spent sleeping due to coming off nights. Your body clock is a mess.

The new contract removes financial penalties on trusts for over working the Dr’s which means they can basically do whatever they like to your rota. Private companies love this clause.

The contract is about pay and everything else. By extending normal working hours up to 10pm weekdays and including Saturdays you make working in A&E less of an incentive and Dr’s decide to be better payed and respected in other countries. They leave, none join and it just gets worse and worse.

The situation is pretty dire and the Tories have spent their entire time on this trying to mislead the public.

(3)(2)

Anonymoose

The contract I looked at had maximum hours much lower than the current ones combined with penalties against trusts for non compliance.

(2)(0)

Mr Pineapples

Junior Doctors – what a bunch – Trots to a man everyone one of them: putting the sick and infirm to the sword all for a better pay deal. All that twaddle about how they care about the sick and infirm – and lancing the lot of them.

Anyone would think they are the only public servants who matter. What about us bleedin’ barristers who have had pay cuts for over 20 years, and social workers. teachers, care workers? Everyone is getting a raw deal.

I blame the bankers and Gordon Brown who got us in this mess in the first place

(0)(1)

Anonymous

A strong contender for most witless, pointless and unfunny comment of the year.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Peter Stefanovic has an agenda……and it has nothing to do with the plight of the junior doctors.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

surely he sues junior doctors who get it wrong?

(2)(0)

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