There is notable support for the proposed 7 day health service among consultant physicians, according to the latest census produced by the Royal College of Physicians, the RCP Edinburgh and the RC of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow.
Over two thirds (68%) of participants in the census stated that they would support the plans for a 7 day NHS “in principle”. The findings also suggest a strong correlation between physicians who routinely work seven days and support the plan (65%) – with more support from the specialities that often have to work weekends, including acute internal medicine (91%), stroke medicine (84%) and cardiology (75%).
Other key findings from the census include: increase in doctors working part time, high satisfaction rates among consultant physicians, the youngest part of the workforce (35 and under) being predominantly female (58%).
Dr Harriet Gordon, director of the RCP’s Medical Workforce Unit, said: “It is clear that a majority of consultant physicians in the UK support the principle of a seven day NHS – however there needs to be much more discussion around how such a plan is implemented.
“In order to make the seven-day-service a reality, we will need strong clinical leadership and involvement in redesigning services around the patient, as envisioned in our Future Hospital Programme, in addition to extra resources.
“This includes earlier access to specialist opinion within the hospital, and specialist care reaching out into the community to provide seamless service across primary, secondary and community care, as reflected in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.”