In his speech outlining his vision for a seven-day NHS Jeremy Hunt said he had not met a single hospital consultant ‘who would be happy for their own family to be admitted on a weekend’.
Mr Hunt said he would not allow doctors to be a ‘roadblock’ to reforms and threatened to impose a new seven-day contract if the BMA did not agree to changes within six weeks.
The BMA called Mr Hunt’s comments a ‘wholesale attack on doctors’, while the RCGP warned that GPs could be next in line to be forced into working weekends.
Dr Matthew Green’s online petition has so far attracted signatures from over 680 doctors 'who would be willing and happy for a family member to be admitted to an NHS hospital at the weekend’.
Jeremy Hunt 'sensationalist'
Dr Green called Mr Hunt’s comments ‘flagrant sensationalism’. ‘I do have family who have been admitted to a UK hospital at the weekend. I was more than satisfied with the care they received,' he said.
Dr Allan Woodall commented: ‘Mr Hunt, I’m working tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday night for the NHS out-of-hours GP service. Have have done for the past four weeks and four weeks hence because you are driving GPs out of wanting to work in this country.’
Dr Rebecca McGee added: ‘As an experienced GP I feel Jeremy Hunt has no grasp of the challenges of primary and secondary care.’
Meanwhile NHS doctors and other NHS staff plan to use the hashtag #IminworkJeremy on Saturday to show they already work weekends.