• A freedom of information (FOI) request from BMJ Careers has found that there was no formal correspondence between the Prime Minister and the medical director of NHS England on the definition of seven day services before Cameron announced his plan to create “a truly seven day NHS.” The BMA said it was astounding that no such correspondence took place.
• A previous FOI from BMJ Careers to the Department of Health asking to see correspondence between itself and the prime minister discussing the definition of seven day services was refused. The department said that the information “relates to the formulation or development of government policy” and was therefore exempt from release.
• Elsewhere in The BMJ, Avril E Drummond and Carol Coole argue that occupational therapists and physiotherapists should be able to issue fit notes. Could this be a potential role for physician associates in the future?
• In news this week Clare Dyer reports that consultant a cardiothoracic surgeon in Cardiff has been dismissed without notice for gross misconduct. The move followed a formal investigation and hearing into allegations of bullying hospital staff.
• In a letter to The BMJ, the Working with Older People Steering Group argues that frontline care workers need training to help them cope with their feelings. “People working in caring roles need to know that it is OK to feel powerful negative feelings, such as disgust, impatience, and even hatred, but that they must find strategies and resources within themselves not to act on these feelings,” the group says.
Abi Rimmer is BMJ Careers news reporter.