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Views & Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Is Jeremy Hunt our colleague?

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 06 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5995
  1. Margaret McCartney, general practitioner, Glasgow

When the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, emailed all junior doctors with his contract proposals, he began, “Dear colleague.” So let’s consider Hunt as a colleague, a team mate, a coworker, an ally—a doctor.

The NHS’s “duty of candour” policy requires doctors to apologise for and reflect on errors that they make. A photograph that Hunt tweeted of himself in a hospital contained identifiable patient information. It was subsequently altered, but there has been no public apology or statement of reflection from the Department of Health.

The General Medical Council takes a dim view of misleading claims. Hunt has promised a “truly seven day NHS.” But we already have a seven day NHS. Rather, Hunt seems to be promising an NHS with the same …

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