This is Going to Hurt: The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor is important reading for any Brit who’s about to vote without bearing the future of the NHS in mind. I’ve worked in that arena for the last 15 years and the last 10 years of that has been under the banner of ‘austerity’. In that time we’ve seen services go from underfunded to seriously critical, with staff breaking more and more regularly thanks to the increased stresses and strains that go hand in hand with said underfunding, increased patient need, and a workforce that is fleeing for less stressful jobs (if they’re training for them in the first place. Why bother training to become a healthcare assistant when you get paid the same wage for a McJob?) I wholeheartedly believe that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to stake the NHS in the heart for good, and Adam Kay clearly agrees.
Tracking his journey from newly qualified doctor to battle-scarred obstetrics professional, Kay gives a really informative and interesting take on his journey with the NHS. Some of the anecdotes will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and others will make you want to punch politicians in the face. More than anything though, this book made me seriously worried about the future condition of my pelvic floor.
By the time a shattered Kay decides it’s time to change career, it would be hard for anyone not to understand how working in the NHS can wreck your mental health, social life, and ability to do anything else other than work, eat and go to sleep.
While I imagine that for anyone who picks this book up, Kay will be preaching to the choir, I’d sincerely hope that people getting ready to vote on the 12th will listen to more of the people like Kay who work within our beloved institution and less to the millionaire publishers of certain tabloids.