A campaign to show health secretary Jeremy Hunt that the NHS is already running a seven-day service succeeded in its goal to trend on Twitter on the weekend.
An anaesthetic trainee launched the #ImInWorkJeremy campaign in the hope to get doctors, nurses and other NHS staff tweeting the hashtag on Saturday.
The founder of the campaign, who wished to remain anonymous, stressed it had not been launched as a protest against weekend working, but rather to make the point that a large chunk of NHS staff is already hard at work making sure there is a 24/7 service.
It comes after Jeremy Hunt claimed on Thursday that ‘6,000’ people are unnecessarily dying every year because the NHS shuts down on weekends.
But, via Facebook, the campaign stated: ‘Right, so July 18th is a Saturday, and that’s the weekend. You know, the weekend where none of us are working. Except a lot of us are… So, tweet Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_hunt) with the #ImInWorkJeremy either with a comment or a selfie…
‘Together, we can get this trending and show Mr Hunt, that we are in fact in work.’
Speaking to Pulse, the trainee doctor behind the campaign said: ‘The campaign would also urge any GPs who are doing out-of-hours to get involved in the campaign, as well as walk-in centre doctors and practitioners.’
The founder said that although increasing the number of doctors on the weekend may mean more patients could be discharged, they would still be hampered by things like a lack of physiotherapists, pharmacy closing times and other parts of the supporting structure not running a 24/7 service.
They said: ‘This is not an attack on other specialities, it’s an attack on Mr Hunt’s expectation that we as doctors can just wave wands and make things happen.’