Response to Secretary of State's Statement on 24/7 NHS Consultant Care for England

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16 Jul 2015

From Mr Ian Ritchie, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh:

“Patients rightly expect the same standards of care at night and weekends as they would receive during normal working hours.  We support this, and know that our membership is strongly in favour of round the clock services. However, they also have concerns about the feasibility of such reforms and only a limited number feel there is sufficient capacity at the appropriate grade under the current service model.

“Therefore it is imperative that services and rotas are designed so that consultant led care is possible throughout the week. This will require both an increase in the number of consultants and the generalist capacity across the surgical workforce.

“It is also vital that these clinicians are able to access diagnostic services, such as scans and tests, at nights and weekends so they are not delayed in their efforts to treat patients effectively.

However we must also recognise that NHS staff are entitled to a work life balance, and that family responsibilities and other commitments mean that not all consultants will be able to work evenings and weekends at every stage of their career.”

Summarised results from a recent RCSEd Membership Survey will be available from Wednesday 22 July. For further information, contact

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