“Exclusive NHS England staff were allowed to leave at 2pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve even though GPs who closed their doors early have been served with breach of contract notices, a leaked email that has infuriated GPC negotiators reveals.
Pulse has learnt that the internal email – addressed to all ‘NHS England Staff’- wished them a ‘well-deserved break’ and said they could leave at 2pm as long as NHS England remained able to respond to issues including urgent calls or emails, during normal working hours.
The leaked email comes as BMA lawyers begin working to defend 12 GP practices in London that were served with breach notices by the area team for closing early on Christmas Eve.
The practices were served with notices after head of primary care at NHS England Dr David Geddes wrote to all area teams last year to insist that it was ‘non-negotiable’ that GP practices open for their full core hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
The letter from ‘NHS England Communications’ says that their staff will be given the afternoon off on these says, as long as cover arrangements are in place and there ‘will be no negative impact upon delivering our normal operations’…..
On the face of it this implies a completely different attitude to contractors (GPs) as to Employees. I have often said that the NHS closes on Friday afternoons and at midday before National Holidays. When I had to have Thyroid surgery I was ona 3 month waiting list, but Christmas was in the middle and I asked to be first cancellation on the day before Christmas Eve list.. and was duly operated on.