According to a speech delivered earlier today (May 18th) by the prime minister, the NHS will get the funding it needs to create seven-day services.
David Cameron renewed his pre-election pledge to give an additional £8 billion a year by 2020 to NHS budgets. This will include recruiting another 5,000 GPs, which will be a key part of delivering round-the-clock health services.
He said his plans would involve "different shift patterns" rather than NHS staff working seven days a week, making the UK the first country in the world to "deliver a truly seven-day NHS”.
Mr Cameron shared concerns about the death rate at weekends, which are up to 16 per cent higher than on a weekday. At the weekend, hospitals feel as though they "more about getting through to Monday" with specialists and hi-tech equipment unavailable, he said.
However, there have been concerns that this would warrant additional funding, and that the current £8 billion pledge would only be enough to keep the current service level running.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has said that for seven-day services to be a success there needs to be more funding.
Professor Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said there is a strong "clinical case" for seven-day services, especially during rehabilitation where consistent treatment is known to improve recovery.
However, stretching five days of resources across the entire week won't work for patients and would be unfair for doctors and nurses.
Professor Middleton said: "Further funds will be needed as well as an emphasis on prevention to bring down costs in the longer-term."
"It is also critical for employers to approach these changes in a genuinely collaborative way with staff and their trade unions and professional bodies to ensure patients receive quality services that are both sustainable for the NHS and fair to those delivering them."
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