Observations Body Politic

Calm down everyone: Keogh’s action is not explosive stuff

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i181 (Published 13 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i181
  1. Nigel Hawkes, freelance journalist
  1. 1London
  1. nigel.hawkes1{at}btinternet.com

Of course Keogh cleared his letter to junior doctors with officials. It would be foolish to expect otherwise, says Nigel Hawkes

Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, is in trouble over his intervention in the junior doctors’ contract dispute. A thousand doctors have called for his resignation. Norman Lamb MP, who didn’t become Liberal Democrat leader, wants a Cabinet Office inquiry, and Tim Farron MP, who did, wants to haul Keogh and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, before a parliamentary committee to answer for their actions.

Keogh is charged with writing to the BMA opposing the junior doctors’ action in language that had been vetted in advance by the Department of Health.1 The letter asked whether doctors would return to work in the event of a major incident such as a terrorist attack.

A fair question, to which the answer was yes. So why …

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