Recently, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt has been the centre of a controversial discussion as he proposed some very interesting plans, that all NHS hospital consultants must work 7 days a week with out extra pay.
Regarding the first change, I feel that this is an insult to doctors working in the NHS, many have expressed their anger through social media. Jeremy Hunt himself has never worked in a hospital or really had much experience in a clinical setting, in fact his degree is in PPE. Most consultants DO work 7 days, in that if they are called, they will go to the hospital with out complaining. The fact that it is without extra pay is something that I find annoying, yes it would be expensive to pay all the doctors, however doctors aren’t exactly payed extravagantly (contrary to popular belief), in fact junior doctors work extremely long, physically and mentally arduous hours for less pay than a manager at pret a manger. It is extremely easy to say that doctor’s need to work 7 days a week yet for it to happen is extremely difficult. Being a doctor is a strenuous job, both physically and emotionally so doctors need some sort of break. To make it even worse, Jeremy Hunt has said if consultants do not agree to working weekends within 6 weeks, he will impose the 7 day rule as well cutting the pay of the extra time worked by consultants. But would this 7 days a week strategy improve current situations? According to Jeremy Hunt, 6000 people die every year due to a lack of doctors at the weekends, however experts argue that this is not necessarily due to a lack of consultants. The problem lies further down the line with getting blood tests, scans, pharmaceutical availabilities ect.
My opinions is that it could be a good idea, however due to a lack of clinical experience, he is targeting the wrong group. Instead of consultants, there should be more availability for the services above which could be beneficial.
Look forward to posting again!