ColumnistsVogue Williams

Doctors were amazing when dad was dying – they deserve to be paid well

Doctors were amazing when dad was dying – they deserve to be paid well

Doctors and nurses are planning industrial action in January that could cost over €12 million to settle.

Hospitals in Ireland are struggling, they already don’t have enough staff and the staff that they do have are overworked and underpaid.

The junior doctors and nurses are striking over their living out allowance being taken away – a €3,182 payment which was abolished for new recruits in 2012.

When junior doctors begin they are sent to different locations every six months and the living out allowance is meant to help with rent and other costs.

Around 4,000 junior doctors currently working in the health service would benefit from the restoration of the allowance. That is a huge number of doctors who have the same right to this payment as the doctors before them.

They don’t get paid very much as it is and I think taking this away from them is totally wrong. It’s no wonder so many of our graduate doctors leave Ireland to work in Australia where working conditions and pay are at a far higher standard.

I don’t always agree with strikes as I think it should be a last resort and in some cases I don’t agree with their reasons for striking, but in this instance I fully agree with them.

I spent time in a hospital in Cork as part of a TV show I was filming and I was shocked to see how overwhelmed the staff were. That was on a Wednesday and they said at the weekend the number of patients can quadruple.

How are we meant to get good care in hospitals when we are allowing the doctors and nurses to be worked so hard?

I know when my dad was ill in hospital the staff were amazing, every single one of them. They were overworked, but were still so kind to my dad with their time and certainly made his last few days a lot easier for him and for us.

Hopefully an agreement will be made before any strike action goes ahead because the last thing our health service needs is fewer doctors; they are struggling as it is.


Revenge is served in court

I have written another piece in the Sunday World today about my TV show, which airs on Monday, and part of it touches on the subject of revenge porn.

I have to say that I was delighted to read that a girl is about to be prosecuted in the UK for her part in a revenge porn act.

Abigail Stringfellow had a threesome with a friend of hers and another man. She took photos and videos of the encounter and sent them to her friend’s boyfriend after they fell out over a coat.

Abigail was brought to the police and eventually admitted disclosing these private sexual photographs and films with the sole intent of causing distress. She received a suspended jail term.

Revenge porn is becoming such a big part of our society nowadays that it’s important to punish anyone who breaks this new law.

The victim said: “Abigail’s actions have destroyed my life. She has humiliated me, embarrassed me and brought about the end of my relationship. I hate her for what she has done. I want her to know what her actions have led to.”

I cannot understand how anyone would ever go to the extent of posting such vicious content online in order to get revenge.

To want to ruin somebody’s life for upsetting you is so wrong and people who do that are dangerous. They’re people who have no moral compass and certainly not people I would want to know.


Celeb spotting at musical was top class craic

My week was quite hectic – as usual – but great fun at the same time.

I’m absolutely delighted that my pal Matthew has moved over to live with me.

On Monday, Matthew and I went to the opening of The School of Rock musical in London and indulged in some celeb-spotting.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jimmy Carr and even Sarah Ferguson were there, so we made sure to have a good old stare.

I’m not even that into musicals, but I would definitely recommend it.

I wore my best attempt at a rock outfit – trousers from River Island, my new Spotted on Celeb top and my Louboutin shoes that I struggle to walk in.

On Tuesday I spent the day in meetings and then went home to watch my new show. I like to tweet along with people and I was delighted with the response.

I loved making the shows so much and we worked so hard on them, so it’s just the icing on the cake to see everyone enjoying them.

I’m an ambassador for The Stroke Association, so I attended their annual dinner in London and also got to present an award.

The Stroke Association is a cause close to my heart because my dad, Freddie, died from a stroke six years ago.

The night was brilliant, but at the same time so sad. To hear the survivors’ stories of stroke and how it has affected their lives was heartbreaking.

I was presenting an award with comedian Russell Howard (above) who is so lovely. Our award was presented to Conor Lynes, who had a stroke at the age of just 14. He has done a huge amount of fundraising to help other victims and is so selfless.

I wore a gorgeous dress by Spotted on Celeb that I teamed with my Boohoo shoes.

On Thursday it was back to Dublin to DJ for Huaweii’s event in the Mansion House. I love DJing and I’ve been doing a lot more gigs lately.

It’s so lovely being home, too, even if it’s just for a night, as I always get to see my aunty, who lives in the apartment above mine.

On Friday I flew to Iceland – very random, I know. It’s a place I have always wanted to visit so I decided to treat myself. I’ll still be there by the time this piece comes out so I will tell you all about it next week.