Out of hours policy for doctors, please

We may live ‘over the border’ in Cornwall but we enjoy reading the North Devon Gazette.

We read much about the National Health Service but surely the most amazing thing about it is its new concept of ‘out of hours’.

Some years ago when I worked in a multiple superstore the Government-backed pressure from the profit-motivated multiple retailers in relation to Saturday, Sunday, bank holiday and evening trading resulted in most of us being forced to do shift work at any time, of any day of the year except Christmas Day and with no guaranteed higher rate of pay for weekend and evening work.

They then brought into operation the concept of ‘out of hours’ for the highly-paid doctors and most others in NHS so that most doctors’ surgeries and hospital departments only open ‘office hours’ and shut down every Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday, and bank holiday.

It is absolutely crazy, no one needs the whole weekend to go shopping but people’s medical needs do not vary according to the day of the week. Why cannot the doctors and other NHS employees do shift work like the shop workers and many others have to do? I have tried to obtain an answer from them but they are unable or unwilling to give me one.

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Damian Hodgekins


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