Mr Hunt needs to work with doc­tors

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION YOUR LETTERS -

DOC­TORS care for pa­tients and un­der­stand their needs, and have been clear in their sup­port for more seven-day hos­pi­tal ser­vices de­spite the com­ments made by the health sec­re­tary last week.

The BMA has re­peat­edly called on the gov­ern­ment to out­line their plans for seven-day ser­vices in­clud­ing how they will fund and staff them.

Yet we are still no closer to find­ing out how the gov­ern­ment plans to fund more week­end care or how they will en­sure there isn’t a re­duc­tion in mid-week ser­vices. Doc­tors work as part of a team and sim­ply adding an ex­tra doc­tor to a ward will make no real dif­fer­ence to pa­tients across Sur­rey if the sup­port needed is not there.

The gov­ern­ment makes no men­tion of the ex­tra nurses, di­ag­nos­tic staff, porters, ad­min staff – the list goes on – that would be needed to de­liver more seven-day ser­vices.

Like thou­sands of other work­ers, NHS staff are al­ready pro­vid­ing a first-class ser­vice, ev­ery day of the week.

This is why doc­tors, nurses and ev­ery­body else work­ing across the NHS have been voic­ing their anger through the #ImInWorkJeremy so­cial media cam­paign.

It is sim­ply wrong for the health sec­re­tary to sug­gest that they are only work­ing Mon­day to Fri­day.

Doc­tors have been clear that they would be will­ing to work with the health sec­re­tary to bet­ter im­prove week­end ser­vices.

So if he wants to put pa­tient care first and fore­most he should work with those who spend each day do­ing just that. Pa­tients de­serve no less.

DR MARK PORTER Chair of Coun­cil, Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion

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