MPs are set to debate petitions next week calling for the resignation of health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
More than 220,000 people have now signed Parliament.uk’s call for a vote of no confidence in the health secretary,
on grounds that he has “alienated the entire workforce of the NHS by threatening to impose a harsh contract and conditions on first consultants and soon the rest of the NHS staff”.
A second petition - titled resignation or removal of Jeremy Hunt MP as Secretary of State for Health - was launched by Change.org, after his stance on seven-day working in the NHS proved “the last straw”.
“In essentially calling doctors lazy and suggesting they need 'a sense of vocation' [Hunt] has offended the whole NHS workforce and demonstrated how little regard he has for us and how little he understands what we do”, said Dan Furmedge, a doctor in geriatric and general internal medicine, launching the petition, which now has nearly 108,00 signatures.
Parliament is to debate these petitions on September 14 in Westminster Hall, but has tabled the discussion under the banner ‘Contracts and conditions in the NHS’.
Hull GP Dr Zoe Norris told Pulse that the fact the wording of the debate has been changed “means Conservative MPs in particular can now join in the debate without fear of being chastised by the party whip”.
“Personally I think that is encouraging, and we should be using this opportunity to lobby MPs like mad to go there and look for ways to safeguard the future of general practice,” she said.