Dr Grumble thinks that it is much tougher being a doctor in today's NHS than most members of the public think. Here is a post Dr Grumble picked up from a doctors' chat room. It would do no good for this doctor to be identified so certain details have been changed:
I am getting married in July and have requested four days off. I'll be on a rota where leave is fixed. Swaps are not allowed. I applied to get unpaid leave but I have been told to pay for a locum which will cost around £2000. I just haven't got that sort of money at the moment. What can I do?
This problem happens again and again. If you tell people who work outside the NHS they find it hard to believe that any employer can behave in such a way. You might think the young doctor's consultant would be able to sort this out for him. You would be wrong. She is of the old school.
Dr Grumble thinks these poor young doctors need to invoke the Human Rights Act 1998. The first question is whether or not they have a right to get married. This fortunately is covered in Article 12:
RIGHT TO MARRY
Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.
So does the doctor have to work when he would like leave to get married? This appears to be covered by Article 4:
PROHIBITION OF SLAVERY AND FORCED LABOUR
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.
No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
For the purpose of this Article the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not include:
(a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from such detention;
(b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;
(c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.
Is the NHS showing respect for this doctor's family life? Does this doctor have any right to private and family life. This is covered by Article 8:
RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
So what can these poor young doctors do in such circumstances. Perhaps Remedy can help them. You just should not have to resort to legal action to solve problems like this. But sometimes in today's NHS that seems to be the only way.