Leaked email shows NHS England staff were allowed to leave early over Christmas

Sofia Lind of Pulse reports 3rd February 2013: Leaked email shows NHS England staff were allowed to leave early over Christmas

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.


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Political Representatives and activists, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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