Margaret McCartney: Is Jeremy Hunt our colleague?BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5995 (Published 06 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5995
- 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 …