Barbara Richardson (Letters, 14 September) has my sympathies. On Tuesday, I and a number of my consultant colleagues, ward sisters and others had a one-hour meeting to work out how to deal with the recently announced public holiday. Management guidance is that urgent activity should go ahead as planned, but with a skeleton staff we will struggle to accommodate all the “must happens”, and the “really should happens” will mostly be postponed. Rescheduling delayed treatments will take further hours of planning. I expect similar meetings will have taken place across the NHS during the last couple of days.
I anticipate that the public might respond: “Well come to work, then, if it is so important.” Modern healthcare is complex, and there is little point in the consultants trying to carry on as normal if the support staff on whom we depend (and whose children unexpectedly need alternative childcare arrangements) will not be there. I have very little confidence that the person who made this decision has taken this into account.
Name and address supplied
• Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.