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25.02.16

BMA calls for Hunt to explain how seven-day NHS will be funded

As the dispute over junior doctors’ contracts worsens, the British Medical Association (BMA) has demanded that health secretary Jeremy Hunt MP explains how the government plans to fund a seven day NHS.

Yesterday the BBC reported that a claim made by Hunt in July that 6,000 patients die each year due to a lack of seven-day care was not supported by the authors of the NHS study he took the research from.

When challenged on the issue in prime minister’s questions by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, prime minister David Cameron said that further analysis showed the number of deaths could be 11,000. However, this cannot be proven to be caused by a lack of staff.

Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council, said: “This yet again calls into question figures used by the health secretary in his bid to push through more seven-day services across the UK, without extra funding or staffing.

“The fact is, doctors work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contracts. If the government want more seven-day services then, rather than using figures designed to worry patients, they should be outlining where the extra doctors, nurses and diagnostic staff, and the extra investment needed to deliver them, will come from.”

On Tuesday the BMA announced that junior doctors will hold three 48-hour strikes in March and April, and that it is launching a judicial review of Hunt’s decision to impose the unpopular contracts, which involve reduced rates for doctors working on weekends.

UPDATE 8:30am 26 February

A Department of Health spokesperson said in response to Dr Porter: "There is clear, independent clinical evidence of variation in the quality of care across the week and working together with the NHS we are determined to tackle this problem.

“Part of the solution is making sure the right staff are available for all patients 7 days a week. That's why we're investing £10 billion to fund the NHS's own plan for the future - including nearly £4 billion next year.

“90% of the new contract for junior doctors was agreed with the BMA and has been endorsed as fair and reasonable by senior NHS leaders, including Simon Stevens. We urge junior doctors to look at the detail of the contract and the clear benefits it brings.”

 

Comments

Lday   27/02/2016 at 19:22

Please help by signing this petition asking Jeremy Hunt to retract his misrepresented statistics: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/121316

Phil S   03/03/2016 at 13:16

Population increasing out of control. Population ageing = people living longer with more ailments NHS mechanisms ineffective at reclaiming fees from "visitors" More capacity needed, therefore get 40% more "for free" by making all 7 days the same (so you'll get routine admissions on a weekend as well as weekdays). But no cash! Hence no-one in NHS believes the politicians in charge. They will not pay 40% more to achieve their goal will they?!

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