Jeremy Hunt announces a seven-day-week NHS

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt announces plans for a seven day NHS service

Jeremy Hunt has announced plans for a seven-day-week NHS in England during his speech at the King’s Fund recently.

The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, also mentioned a six week negotiating period for the service, and the British Dental Association (BDA) has said it is unconvinced that the seven day service will be financially or logistically viable for dentistry.

In his speech at the King’s Fund yesterday Hunt added: ‘Be in no doubt: if we can’t negotiate, we are ready to impose a new contract.’

‘A slogan cannot be turned into a policy simply by repetition,’ Peter Dyer, chair of the BDA’s Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services, said.

‘In hospitals, we do not believe that credible evidence has been established about the pay implications of implementing seven day working, and how this will impact on consultants, and other dentists.

‘Furthermore, no indication has been given as to how the rest of the NHS and wider social care provision will be reorganised to provide appropriate care and support for patients.

‘For consultants to be asked to work and, for instance, to find themselves without access to specialised dental radiography cannot be considered to be in the benefits of either consultants or patients.

‘There remains a lack of clear thinking about what is desired or required of an extended NHS dental service, with no plan for implementation on what would be an unprecedented service delivery change.’

Contract change

The BDA has welcomed the DDRB report recommendation of the need for ’employers and their consultant workforces to work together and agree the detail of any contractual change’.

‘We have already seen in the GDS the effects of short-sighted efforts to improve access by requiring practitioners to open surgeries on days and at times of no historical patient demand,’ chair of the BDA, Mick Armstrong, added.

‘Without due consideration being given to fully coordinating all dental services the imposition of seven day working for dental consultants will serve no functioning purpose.’

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