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Health secretary's speech empty rhetoric
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17th July 2015
AUK Staff
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 ...we are still are no closer to finding out how the health secretary will pay for more weekend care or how he will ensure there isn’t a reduction in mid-week services
 Dr Mark Porter
Responding to the publication of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) report into consultant and junior doctors’ contracts and the health secretary’s speech to the Kings Fund, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said:

“Doctors care for patients and understand their needs, and have been clear in their support for more 7-day hospital services. We have repeatedly called on the government to outline how they will fund and staff them. And yet we are still are no closer to finding out how the health secretary will pay for more weekend care or how he will ensure there isn’t a reduction in mid-week services?

“It is positive that the DDRB has recognised the potential impact of these proposals on the working lives of doctors and that ‘one size will not fit all’, and we hope that the government does the same.

“However, the DDRB’s comments that it is unclear about how these changes could be made without further resource highlights how the health secretary’s ultimatum is nothing more than headline grabbing rhetoric. He has chosen to dodge the hard choices and announce something that makes a great speech but does little to put in place the resources the NHS really needs.

“Just adding an extra doctor to a ward will make no real difference if the support needed is not there. On the BBC the health secretary admitted as much, yet he continues to make no mention of the extra nurses, diagnostic staff, porters, admin staff – the list goes on – that would be needed to deliver the same high level standard of care patients deserve 7 days a week.

... the DDRB’s comments that it is unclear about how these changes could be made without further resource highlights how the health secretary’s ultimatum is nothing more than headline grabbing rhetoric.
 Dr Mark Porter
“We have been clear that we would be willing to work with the health secretary to better improve services. So today is nothing more than a cynical attack on doctors and an attempt to negotiate through press release rather than offering to sit down and discuss constructively with the very people who are delivering seven-day services for patients and who he expects to deliver these further changes.

“If the health secretary really wants to put patient care first and foremost then he should work with those who spend each day doing just that as well as putting in place the proper funding for emergency care, rather than sniping from the sidelines and issuing artificial deadlines. Patients deserve no less.”


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