Demand answers about seven-day services - add your name here
David Cameron wants to extend services to deliver 'a truly seven-day NHS' but refuses to tell us how he plans to fund it, staff it and protect the current levels of service the NHS provides.
Over 10,000 people have added their names. Add yours here to call for David Cameron to show us his plan.
Dear prime minister,
In May, you announced your intention to extend health services for the world’s first ‘truly seven-day NHS’, stating that there is a plan to deliver this. Doctors who care for patients day in and day out and understand their needs have been clear in their support for more seven-day hospital services.
Having repeatedly called for the detail of how a ‘truly seven-day NHS’ would be delivered, we are now asking you to define what you mean by this and to show us your plan to deliver it.
Patients become ill and need high-quality urgent healthcare over a seven-day week – this has never been in dispute. Doctors and other healthcare staff agree and are already working all across the country to deliver this, and of course they want to do more for the patients for whom they care.
The government’s pledge to address the funding crisis in the NHS is based on delivering services at current levels: broadly, routine and non-urgent care across five days and urgent and emergency care over seven. How does your plan propose to find the money to pay for the additional services that you have set out in your vision?
The NHS is already understaffed, and some medical specialties, especially emergency medicine have significant difficulties in recruitment. Doctors have already been trying to deliver improvements in weekend and nighttime care so know that a ‘truly seven-day NHS’ will need a full team of healthcare staff to deliver it, not just doctors but nurses, managers, healthcare support workers and scientific, therapeutic and technical staff, for example. What’s your plan to find, train and fund these in order to deliver a truly seven-day NHS?
Those working in the NHS have highlighted the increasing strain that health services are under, due to more patients presenting with more complex needs than ever before. How does your plan ensure that a ‘truly seven-day NHS’ will involve no reductions in existing weekday services and that no existing services will have to close?
The NHS is something for all of us to be proud of, led by a workforce dedicated to delivering free healthcare for all, wherever and whenever patients need it. Without knowing how you intend to deliver a seven-day NHS, we are increasingly concerned that it is simply an empty political promise which risks damaging the existing NHS services on which we all rely.
So, on behalf of doctors and patients across the country, we’re asking: Will you show us your plan?
Dr Mark Porter