Seven-day plan is unworkable, says royal college leader

The unresourced plan to expand seven-day services in the NHS has crushed morale in a service already ‘stretched beyond reason’, a royal college president has said.

Royal College of Physicians of London president Jane Dacre told the BMA junior doctors conference that the policy was not workable with staff struggling to meet existing demand.

Professor Dacre also told the conference that health policy — particularly during a time when resource was so scarce and demand so high — must be based on scientific evidence.

It followed a week in which health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s analysis of the ‘weekend effect’ of greater hospital mortality at weekends, and his linkage of it to the junior doctors contract, came under intense scrutiny.

Professor Dacre said: ‘Over the last week, four studies have been published showing the weekend effect has been oversimplified. It’s not a lack of junior doctors on duty on weekends causing variations in care.

Full story in BMA news 16 May 2016