Stephen Hawking among those accusing Jeremy Hunt of Misrepresenting Evidence

Prominent experts call for independent inquiry into false claims and cherry picking

Credit: Tom Maddick.

A number of senior doctors, professors, authors, scientists, including Stephen Hawking and Prof. Robert Winston, have signed a letter to The Guardian claiming Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has caused a “devastating breakdown of trust between government and the medical profession” by misrepresenting evidence of the much controversial “weekend effect.”

Jeremy Hunt claims that there are thousands of preventable deaths a year due to poor staffing of hospitals on the weekend. The signatories have urged Theresa May to hold an independent inquiry into these claims.

Currently, the weekend effect is being used to justify the new Junior Doctors contract, a subject of much dispute, that would see junior doctors working the weekend but more importantly, by introducing a seven day week, it would stretch the already thin NHS services even more, something the British Medical Association says would be harmful and lead to yet more deaths.

The signatory’s state:

“It is wrong to waste precious resources, or lives, because of bad evidence. Like NHS treatments, health policy should be evidence-based to demonstrate clinical and cost-effectiveness.

“Hunt has cherry-picked research, causing a devastating breakdown of trust between government and the medical profession. In making these claims without faithfully representing the evidence, he has obstructed fact and misled parliament and the public.”


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