The petition called for a debate on a vote of "No Confidence" in Hunt as Health Secretary,   and ultimately recorded , signatures leading to a debate on the motion being scheduled in September In , an undercover Daily Telegraph investigation showed that in some cases locum agencies, Medicare and Team24 owned by Capita were charging some hospitals higher fees than others and giving false company details.
Hunt criticised those who sought "big profits" at the expense of the NHS and taxpayers and promised to "reduce the margins rip-off agencies are able to generate. Hunt again drew condemnation from medical professionals when it was reported in January he had suggested that parents should go online to look at photos of rashes if worried that a child may have meningitis. Specific disapproval was drawn to the fact that a rash caused by deadly meningitis can look very similar to other conditions, as well as professionals pointing out the time-critical nature of meningitis.
In May , a report by the House of Commons public accounts committee criticised Hunt's plan for a seven-day NHS, saying "no coherent attempt" had made to understand staffing needs, the plan was "completely uncosted", and contained "serious flaws". He announced an increase of up to 1, extra places at medical schools in the UK in , with it being partly funded by an increase in international medical student fees.
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In January , Hunt apologised to patients in England affected by the decision to postpone tens of thousands of operations. In February , Hunt attracted attention after defending the universal coverage provided by the NHS against US President Donald Trump , saying "I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover. NHS may have challenges but I'm proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage — where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance".
The decision was criticised by the Patients Association and National Voices. In July , Hunt indicated that he would be prepared to impose a new consultant contract on doctors in England which would remove the opt out for non-emergency work at weekends. He stated this was to prevent "about 6, avoidable deaths" resulting from a "Monday to Friday culture" in some areas of the NHS and to reintroduce "a sense of vocation" in consultants. At the time NHS England also asked one of the authors to corroborate Hunt's figures who refused to do so, stating that it would interfere with the peer review of the unpublished paper; in response they reframed the figure as being based on earlier studies on its website in August In October , Hunt was accused by the editor of The BMJ Fiona Godlee of repeatedly misrepresenting a study published in the journal in the same year by Freemantle et al.
He had used the study as key evidence when stating in parliament and in interviews with the media that reduced staffing levels of doctors at weekends directly led to 11, excess deaths. Godlee asserted that the study's authors did not specify that the excess deaths were avoidable or that staffing levels were the cause. Hunt was also criticised for the fact that his claims about hospitals being more unsafe at weekends not merely misrepresented the facts but had potentially caused patients to delay going into hospitals and thus put them at risk.
His critics described the Hunt Effect where patients who needed medical attention at a weekend had been deterred from doing so because they were persuaded that it would be better to wait until a Monday. NHS England confirmed that it would not be possible to separate weekend and weekday performance from the data.
In January , Hunt was criticised by top stroke doctors for using out-of-date data to try to show that stroke patients are more likely to die if they are admitted at weekends. They wrote that there had been significant improvements since —12, when the data Hunt had referenced came from, and that new data showed there was "no longer any excess of hospital deaths in patients with stroke admitted at the weekend.
In February , a mid-January internal report by the Department of Health was leaked. It stated the department was unable to find evidence to prove a link between increased consultant presence, availability of diagnostic tests, and reducing weekend mortality and length of stay. In May , another study also concluded there was no evidence that people were more likely to die in hospitals at the weekend.
They described 13 major risks in delivering the "truly seven-day NHS" pledge promised by the Conservative party prior to the general election. These included a lack of staff and funding for the policy. The documents also discussed that no advance impact assessments had been made to show how the policy would affect the delivery of NHS services. In September , the Department of Health announced that they would impose new contracts for junior doctors in England after the British Medical Association BMA , a professional association and trade union representing doctors said that they would not re-enter negotiations, despite the independent Doctors' and Dentists' remuneration review body recommending the deal.
Many junior doctors said they would leave the NHS if the contract was forced through. Hunt later tried to reassure the BMA that no junior doctor would face a pay cut, before admitting that those who worked longer than 56 hours a week would face a fall in pay. In February , Hunt announced he would be unilaterally imposing the new junior doctors' contract without agreement or further negotiation, with NHS trusts instructed to introduce it in August. On 19 November , the result of the BMA strike ballot was announced, with After the results were announced, the BMA council chair Mark Porter appealed to the health secretary to resume negotiations facilitated by Acas.
An agreement was not reached by the junior doctors committee JDC 4 January deadline, so the BMA announced that a strike would go ahead, blaming "the government's continued failure to address junior doctors' concerns about the need for robust contractual safeguards on safe working, and proper recognition for those working unsocial hours. This was the first junior doctors' strike for forty years. In response to Hunt's announcement in February of the imposition of the new junior doctors' contract, the BMA announced three hour long strikes where junior doctors would only provide emergency care.
They also issued a legal challenge over the contract. In the lead up to his imposition of the contract, Hunt had repeatedly stated publicly and in Parliament his intention to do so. Even when challenged, he reiterated this intent and also confirmed that he had the power to do so. In order to successfully defend the case against him, lawyers acting on his behalf conceded that he did not actually have the power to impose the contract, and asserted that Hunt was not to be held accountable for things he had said in Parliament. They also argued the High Court did not have the authority to rule over whether he had misled Parliament.
In , Hunt attempted to downgrade casualty and maternity units in Lewisham. In July a cross-party committee of MP's ascertained that Hunt had 'broken his pledges on NHS funding and is misleading the public about health service reforms'. The committee claimed the 'Government has used a different definition of spending to calculate the figures which made it appear that a larger increase in spending had occurred than was actually they case'.
But when questioned he conceded that in the accounts offered for spending had been stretched to include the previous year.
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It is this use of an 'extra year' in the accounts which added further fuel to the claim that Hunt has knowingly misled the public on public health funding. During , Stephen Hawking publicly criticised Hunt's management of the NHS and supported legal action against further reforms, including accountable care organisations ACOs. In April , The Daily Telegraph revealed that Hunt breached anti-money laundering legislation by failing to declare his 50 per cent interest in a property firm to Companies House within the required 28 days. A spokesman for Hunt said that Hunt's "accountant made an error in the Companies House filing, which was a genuine oversight.
The Labour Party referred Hunt to the parliamentary commissioner for standards. Hunt has supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen and described Saudi Arabia as a "very, very important military ally". In August , Hunt defended Britain's alliance with Saudi Arabia after a bomb dropped on a school bus in Yemen killed 51 people, including 40 children, although he said he was "deeply shocked" at the deaths.
Hunt said that the "UK-China Strategic Dialogue is an important opportunity to intensify our cooperation on shared challenges in international affairs, ranging from global free trade to non-proliferation and environmental challenges, under the UK-China Global Partnership and 'Golden Era' for UK-China relations ". On 23 August , Hunt met U. In October , Hunt criticised the Xinjiang re-education camps and human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China , saying: "British diplomats who visited Xinjiang have confirmed that reports of mass internment camps for Uighur Muslims were 'broadly true'.
In November , Hunt threatened the United Arab Emirates with "serious diplomatic consequences" after it sentenced British research student Matthew Hedges to life in prison for allegedly spying for the UK. Hunt said that the verdict "is not what we expect from a friend and trusted partner of the United Kingdom and runs contrary to earlier assurances". In February , whilst on a Brexit related visit to Ljubljana , Hunt caused anger by congratulating his hosts on "making really remarkable transformation from a Soviet vassal state to a modern European democracy.
In April , Hunt condemned the United States for recognising Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights , saying: "We should never recognise the annexation of territory by force. We want Israel to be a success and we consider them to be a great friend but on this we do not agree.
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In June , Hunt stated that he shares the U. Hunt announced his campaign to become the leader of the Conservative Party on 3 May , following the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May. Hunt's brother Charlie runs a duvet and linens business.
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Hunt speaks Japanese, having studied the language for two years while working in Japan as an English language teacher in the s. Hunt has named his personal political heroes as Margaret Thatcher and William Wilberforce. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the British road racing cyclist, see Jeremy Hunt cyclist.
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