Medics launch Twitter attack over Jeremy Hunt's 'Monday to Friday' NHS claims
Doctors and nurses have launched a scathing attack on Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt's claims there is a "Monday to Friday" culture in the NHS by posting pictures of themselves working this weekend.
Mr Hunt made the comment earlier this week as he outlined plans to impose seven-day working at hospitals across the country.
But in riposte medics have gone on Twitter to post pictures and messages showing they are working at the weekend, causing the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy to trend on the site.
Neurosurgeon Mark Wilson wrote on Twitter: "24 patients seen - about to do neurosurgery operation - straight 72hrs on call! #ImInWorkJeremy."
Sebastian Nixon uploaded a photograph of himself in his green medical scrubs and wrote: "6th shift this week in the Derriford ED. Damn these lazy doctors and their extravagant weekends. #ImInWorkJeremy."
One called Dr Scott, from Glasgow in Scotland, wrote: "Just seen the Anaesthetic, Ortho, ICU, obstetric &surgical consultants in on a Saturday at 8am. Where were you @Jeremy_Hunt? #ImInWorkJeremy."
A medic named Erica P from Brighton tweeted a photo of herself with a stethoscope and wrote: "I'm working 13 hours today alongside 5 medical consultants in my dept #ImInWorkJeremy."
Another medic posted a picture of herself in her hospital uniform with the message: "Yep it's Saturday & #ImInWorkJeremy @Jeremy_Hunt & so are the consultants. Did you know we worked unsocial hours?"
Paul Dark posted a photograph of the handover briefing at Salford Royal Hospital and wrote: "Night shift medical handover at Salford Royal NHS ICU #ImInWorkJeremy -great team great care great patient outcomes."
The British Medical Association (BMA) accused Mr Hunt of launching "a wholesale attack on doctors" by threatening to enforce new-seven day contracts if they do not agree to work more weekends.
The doctors' union said the ultimatum was a "blatant attempt" by the Government to distract from its "refusal to invest properly in emergency care".
Mr Hunt is giving the union six weeks to negotiate changes to working contracts for hospital consultants and junior doctors after claiming around 6,000 lives are lost a year for lack of senior staff on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mr Hunt went on Twitter to answer his critics, writing: "To drs on shift 2day: thx 4 ur hard work. Now we need 2 reflect that professionalism wth modern contract 2 make NHS safer!#ImInWorkJeremy."
He also tweeted a photo of himself in blue scrubs with doctors at University College Hospital in London, with the message: "Fascinating visit 2 see brain surgery at UCLH and inspirational leadership of Neil Kitchen. Thx 4 making me welcome."