Dr Clive Peedell’s statement on 7 day working for doctors
“Jeremy Hunt’s attack on the BMA and consultant body is an example of politics at its worst.
The reality of the situation is that the NHS is facing a £30bn funding gap by 2020, whilst social care and public health budgets are being cut, and staff are having to deal with the disastrous fallout from the Tories’ flawed Health and Social Care Act. This toxic combination is driving up demand on the health service, whilst simultaneously reducing its capacity to respond. The continuing crisis in Emergency care, General Practice and Social care are clear examples.
Instead of focusing on how the NHS can cope under such pressure, Jeremy Hunt is trying to deflect blame from his Government onto doctors with his ludicrous plans for a “seven day NHS service”. This is Cloud Cuckoo Land policy at a time of national staff shortages across of full range of specialties and professional groups. His plans for elective care will simply dilute care during weekdays, as staff are already at full stretch. Worse still, his argument that this must happen due to increased mortality rates at weekends has been challenged by the Office for Health Economics who have stated that there is: “no clear evidence 7-day working will, in isolation, reduce elevated NHS hospital mortality at weekends”.
It is the austerity policies and NHS polices of this Government that are creating chaos and crisis in our health service. Hunt’s plans for a 7-day service under such circumstances will actually make things worse, not better. It is therefore disgraceful for Mr Hunt and his incompetent Government to try and pin the blame on Consultants and NHS Staff.
We simply won’t stand for it.”