NHS Employers has responded to the census of consultant physicians in the UK produced by the Royal College of Physicians which supports the movement of the NHS to providing seven-day care.
More flexible access to GPs and other NHS services could see employees being able to schedule appointments outside of working hours and even receive faster attention and treatment, which could impact favourably on absence rates.
Paul Wallace, director of employment relations & reward at the NHS Employers organisation, said:
“This welcome report demonstrates the support for seven-day care and the need to review current provision. It also shows that more doctors are taking generalised roles, which is a step forward for providing better quality and more flexible care.
“Patients and employers want to see improved and better seven day services. What we urgently need to consider is the workforce and organisation reform required to deliver this.
“To make the delivery of effective and efficient seven day service provision a reality, this process must include reforms to the current consultant contract, if employers are not to incur prohibitively expensive pay bill costs linked to any service changes.
“NHS Employers sought to jointly develop and agree the contractual changes needed but has so far been unable to reach agreement with the British Medical Association.”