Doctors told they must work weekends ‘to save 6,000 lives’

Top doctors have been told they must kiss goodbye to the weekends off culture that contributes to thousands of deaths every year.


by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Around 6,000 lives are lost per annum due to the lack of the most senior, skilled staff on the weekend.

But now Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said it’s time for doctors to ‘get real’ about the genuine need for a seven day service - and plans to get half of England’s consultants working regular weekends by 2020.


Hunt warned the British Medical Association that he will ‘not all them to be a road block to reforms that will save lives.’

‘If we can’t negotiate, we are ready to impose a new contract’ he added.

Research into weekend standards of care has revealed patients are more likely to lose their lives if they are admitted on a Saturday or Sunday, compared with the rest of the week.

But despite Jeremy Hunt blaming senior doctors for standing in the way of 7 day working, the BMA say doctors real fear is that the NHS cannot afford a round the clock service.

Professor Normal Williams, former president of the Royal College of Surgeons said: ‘In order to set us on a path to seven day services we need, as a minimum, senior decision makers to be present in hospitals each day.’

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