The BMA has invited the health secretary to take part in an open and honest discussion on the quality and consistency of healthcare delivered across the week.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been invited to the symposium, along with medical royal colleges, patient organisations and other professional associations.
BMA junior doctors committee chair Ellen McCourt said: ‘For many people, the junior doctor dispute has highlighted the need for an open and honest debate about how the NHS can deliver high-quality care across the week in the face of rising demand, funding pressure and staffing shortages.
‘Today, we are calling on the health secretary, together with leading voices from across the NHS, the medical profession and patient groups, to address the issues at the heart of this debate and the aspects of patient care which the Government and doctors want to improve.’
In a letter to Mr Hunt, Dr McCourt and BMA council chair Mark Porter write that the issue of the quality and consistency of healthcare across seven days has been intensely debated, particularly during the junior doctors’ contract dispute.
‘Many of the arguments have become polarised and so have not helped to engage the public and patients in the fundamental questions about the nature and scope of the care which we all expect from the health service now and into the future,' they say.
They also urge Mr Hunt to work with the organisations ‘critical to agreeing and delivering the necessary solutions to the urgent issues and choices facing the country’.
The BMA proposes that the symposium be held in November.
Read the letter
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