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Union calls for detail on seven-day service provision

7 January 2015

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Calls have been made for the independent review body looking in to seven-day services to demand credible evidence.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has made a submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) claiming that although it will consider various options to expand healthcare services, it will not agree to anything that will put patient or staff welfare at risk.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said: “The BMA has been clear in its support for better seven-day services, but the Government needs to be clear about what an expansion of services will look like and, crucially, how it can be safely staffed and resourced, without existing services being scaled back.

“Doctors already work around the clock, 24/7, so the existing contract is not a roadblock to seven-day services. We hope that, in its submission, the Government has provided the detail, evidence and modelling on the changes it wants to introduce, which it failed to produce throughout negotiations. 

“This includes detail on what additional services it wants to make available, how much they will cost to deliver and guarantees on what support services need to be in place to provide them safely.

“Without this detail, we are being asked to sign up in the dark to changes without knowing how patient care and doctors’ working lives will be affected — something the BMA cannot do.”