This aim is laudable, but reveals the short termism of current political structures. The undercapacity in all staff is one of the main reasons the objective is impossible. Depoliticising the NHS would have helped, before it became Regional. Now that there is competition between regions for doctors it has to fail unless we import even more, and abuse another generation of aspirants. (Medical Schools: your chances – applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2.) 7 day working in England – can the other regions afford it? Are there enough doctors to go round? Competition for recruitment could mean many doctors move to England, thus increasing the Post Code lottery! Nothing like winning hearts and minds before making a change! Consultants already work weekends… Negotiation and rationing by ultimatum! Wales might need to rebuild Offas Dike to keep them in..
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is prepared to impose seven-day working on hospital doctors, he will say later.
Mr Hunt will accuse the British Medical Association of being out of touch in his bid to force weekend working.
Talks with the BMA broke down last autumn and with no sign of a breakthrough Mr Hunt is expected to set a September deadline to agree a deal.
If there is no agreement, he will say, he is willing to force different arrangements on new consultants.
The current consultant contract means senior doctors can opt out of weekend work as long as it is non-emergency in nature – although they are still expected to be on call….