#ImInWorkJeremy: Altnagelvin consultant hits back at Health Secretary

Neil Black, Consultant Endocrinologist at Altnagelvin.
Neil Black, Consultant Endocrinologist at Altnagelvin.

A consultant at Altnagelvin hospital has joined a nationwide social media campaign to hit back at Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The move came after Mr Hunt said there was a “Monday to Friday” working culture among NHS consultants and that weekend working restrictions were responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

On Friday, Neil Black, Consultant Endocrinologist at Altnagelvin joined in the #ImInWorkJeremy campaign when he posted a message to his Facebook page.

It read: “This is me leaving work right now. It’s day 12 of continuous duty as an NHS consultant physician.

“That has included working 1 NI Bank Holiday, 2 weekend days, being on call for 3 nights, 5 post take pickup rounds for people admitted acutely, doing 8 clinics and being the only endocrinologist in a Trust covering about 400,000 people during my colleagues’ leave.

“We also have a vacant consultant post in our speciality. That folder is a pile of admin I want to get done over the weekend that I didn’t have time to do this week.

“At no stage in my NHS career or during this week have I carried out private practice or played golf.

“While my wife works this weekend and is on call for the next 72h, I’ll also be keeping a check on some people under my care including someone in our HDU by phoning in to work.

“Mr Jeremy Hunt and the Daily Mirror have been claiming that the likes of me are responsible for 6,000 deaths per year in the UK as we are not willing to work weekends. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that. He should be asking how we can help and looking at what slows care down. If he does he’ll find a lot of things that would help us do our job to serve people better.”

The post quickly garnered in excess of 6000 likes and was shared more than a thousand times across Facebook.