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Consultants will have seven day rotas by 2020, government says in response to open letter

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 20 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4548
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers

Most consultants in England will have “genuinely seven day rotas” by the end of this parliament, the Department of Health has said in response to a junior doctor’s open letter.

The department was responding on behalf of the government to a letter sent by Janis Burns, a junior doctor, to the prime minister, David Cameron. The letter, which was shared over 180 000 times on Facebook (, was written in response to a speech made by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, last month. In his speech Hunt called for a seven day NHS and warned that around 6000 people died every year “because we do not have a proper seven day service in hospitals.”1 2

In her letter to the prime minister Burns said that she had been working in intensive care during the night at a weekend and so had …

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