GPs join Stephen Hawking call for inquiry into Jeremy Hunt's seven-day NHS plans

Prominent GPs are among signatories of a letter calling on prime minister Theresa May to hold an independent inquiry into Jeremy Hunt's drive to create a seven-day NHS.

Glasgow GP Dr Margaret McCartney and former GP Dr Phil Hammond, along with prominent doctors and scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking and Professor Robert Winston, accuse the health secretary of 'cherrypicking' research to support claims that patients die unnecessarily at weekends because of poor hospital care.

The letter to The Guardian newspaper questions research supporting the so-called 'weekend effect' and warns that NHS policy should be based on evidence, adding that NHS policies aimed at tackling the weekend effect - such as the government's drive to create a seven-day NHS - should be suspended.

Seven-day NHS

The letter says: 'Hunt has cherrypicked research, causing a devastating breakdown of trust between government and the medical profession. In making these claims without faithfully representing the evidence, he has obstructed fact and misled parliament and the public.'

It adds: 'We call on Theresa May to commission an independent inquiry into the process behind these policies. It is wrong to waste precious resources, or lives, because of bad evidence.'

A DH spokeswoman said: 'Over the past six years, we have been presented with clear independent evidence of variation in care across the week - and this government makes no apology for tackling the issue, to build a safer seven-day NHS for patients. Further peer-reviewed evidence is emerging all the time - including the authoritative 2015 Freemantle report which confirmed previous evidence of a weekend effect.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...