NHS Providers chief executive said guidance was another example of how trusts are ‘now caught between a rock and a hard place’ [Image: Getty Images].

Junior doctors postponed operations because they wanted to protect the health service in the long run; Jeremy Hunt is doing it because his cuts mean nothing else is possible if he is going to meet emergency demand.

Which do you think is more justified?

Here’s a doctor on Twitter giving his verdict on this decision:

Despite all the evidence against it, Hunt imposed his dangerous contract on junior doctors, because he wanted them to work longer for less. Now he is potentially harming NHS patients by postponing the operations they need, because he has made it necessary.

What is to be done about him?

Hospitals in England have been advised to halt elective surgery over Christmas to ensure enough beds are free for patients who need emergency treatment at the end of the year.

In a sign of the intense pressures on NHS resources over the winter months, the regulator NHS Improvement said all hospitals should make more beds available between now and mid-January.

Jim Mackey, the chief executive of NHS Improvement, said the focus needed to be on emergency patients at what he called a critical time for the health service. Many hospitals take steps to wind down the number of operations they perform over the Christmas period, but a letter obtained by the Health Service Journal states that operations may need to be postponed “beyond any current plans”.

Source: Hospitals in England told to put operations on hold to free up beds | Society | The Guardian

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