David Cameron’s “vision” of a seven-day NHS service has been met with scepticism by health experts along with the threat of industrial action.
The British prime minister promised to “transform” health services and “become the first country in the world to deliver a truly seven-day NHS”.
He said it was not about NHS staff working seven days a week, but about “different shift patterns — so that our doctors and nurses are able to give that incredible care whenever it’s needed”.
Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief Peter Carter warned nurses would resist any changes to payments they receive for working outside office hours.
In an interview with The Independent, Carter said he “would particularly give a really strong warning to the secretary of state: Any attacks on unsocial hours, weekend working payments, would be strongly resisted.
An RCN spokesman said: “There’s a big difference between industrial action and strike action. Nurses are never going to do anything to damage patient care and the RCN’s own rules would not allow that.
British Medical Association council chairman Mark Porter said Cameron’s speech was “empty headline-grabbing”.
Many pointed out the £8bn (€11bn) promised is the “bare minimum” needed for the NHS anyway, and will not pay for extra services.
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