This Blog supports Professor Hawking, the doctors and the scientists – for reasons which I have already discussed here.
Stephen Hawking, Robert Winston and a number of senior doctors are urging Theresa May to hold an inquiry into Jeremy Hunt’s claim that 11,000 patient deaths a year are caused by a lack of medics on duty in hospitals at weekends.
In a letter to the Guardian they claim the health secretary has caused a “devastating breakdown of trust between government and the medical profession” by misrepresenting the evidence on the “weekend effect”.
Hunt has come under fire since he began maintaining last year that “there are 11,000 excess deaths because we do not staff our hospitals properly at weekends”. Critics, including the British Medical Journal, have rejected his claim and accused him of highly selective use of complex evidence about the higher number of patients who die within 30 days of being admitted to hospital on a weekend.
The letter is a significant new challenge to Hunt’s integrity over the weekend effect and what lies behind it.
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