Intended for healthcare professionals


Government’s own documents question “seven day NHS” feasibility

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 24 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4646
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The government has been heavily criticised and asked to justify its policy of introducing a “truly” seven day a week NHS service after a leak of its own official documents questioning whether the policy is achievable.

A leaked “risk register” and other documents assessing the policy, produced for ministers by civil servants at the Department of Health, have been seen by the Guardian newspaper,1 as well as Channel 4. A risk register details all potential issues under a worst case scenario to help the government develop robust plans.

The documents reportedly say that the NHS does not have enough staff or financial resources to deliver the government’s promised “truly seven day NHS” by 2020—a key Conservative pre-election pledge.

The …

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