Seven day working encouraged for NHS staff

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Health Service Journal editor explains why 24/7 services have full support

Esteemed Health Service Journal Editor Alastair McLellan has claimed that there is a “growing sense of inevitability” with regards to the NHS becoming a seven day service.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt began the discussion when stating that patients should expect to receive the same high levels of care over the weekend as they do over the week, with NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh in full agreement.

Conducting an online forum conversation with readers, Mr McLellan was able to discover that the seven day scheme was not just the latest top-down directive from NHS bigwigs, but was in fact an ambition shared by the general workforce. Asking readers ‘What are the behaviour and process changes you believe are needed for the NHS to deliver consistent, financially sustainable 24/7 working?’, the survey received over 6,000 contributions from more than 1,000 people. with the anonymised format allowed executives, junior managers, clinicians, commissioners and providers to talk openly and without prejudice.

Surprise results

The answers showed that respondents were actually open and eager to the prospect of a seven day NHS. Mr McLellan explains in his blog post “Rather than spending too much time debating its feasibility, participants accepted that it is essential and set about discussing how to overcome the problems.”

He concluded “There is a clear mandate from the service, its patients and leaders to make the NHS provide quality care every day. The pragmatic and sometimes radical ideas proposed and iterated by HSJ readers provide a rich menu to fulfil that desire.”


[testimonial name=”Recruitment Influencer – Alastair McLellan” who=”Editor of the Health Service Journal” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”Editor of the HSJ and group editor of HSJ’s sister titles Local Government Chronicle and Nursing Times, McLellan is the only journalist to be named writer of the year twice in the PPA Awards. He was also the development director for NHS choices.”[/testimonial]


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