Our Hardworking NHS staff ARE already working over the weekends!

Both David Cameron and his health secretary (Jeremy Hunt) have come under fire recently after Mr Hunt suggest that there was a weekday only culture inside the NHS and he warned our hardworking health professionals that they could be forced to work over the weekends if this continued.

Hunt is fundamentally mistaken if he believes that the NHS is closed over the weekend as hundreds of doctors, nurses and consultants proved this by taking to social media – posting ‘selfies’ of themselves with the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy to show Hunt and Cameron that they are already working over the weekends.

Furthermore, Janis Burns (a busy Junior Doctor at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust) took to Facebook to help the pair understand exactly how busy our marvellous NHS staff actually are.

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/janis.burns/posts/10155800892455263″ width=”550″/]

All of the attention the #ImInWorkJeremy campaign goes to prove two simple facts:

  1. Our NHS staff are working at hard as they can (no matter what our politicians think)
  2. If they do any more, something will give!

We need to remember that the NHS tops the league table for workplace stress; well over one million working people in the UK suffer from a work-related illness (about 40% of these are related to stress and anxiety); an estimated 11.3 days were lost to a stress-related illness in 2014 and within the number of NHS staff reporting stress through has risen to dangerous levels.

Occupations reporting the highest rates of total cases of work-related stress (three-year average) are health professionals (in particular nurses), teaching and educational professionals, and caring personal services (in particular welfare and housing associate professionals).

Of these stress cases the main causes of stress are work pressure (tight deadlines, too much work, long hours, pressure or responsibility).

We agree in principle with Jeremy Hunt, in that we need a world-class NHS (in fact we think we have one), but the answer isn’t to demand these professionals to work longer and harder, instead we need to invest more resources (particularly cash) into our already stretched healthcare system; let it expand by recruiting more front-line and support staff; then and only then will see a health service that can provide a 24x7x365 day service, so let’s not push our NHS employees to breaking point, let’s care for our caring profession in the right way.

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