Richard Madeley sparks uproar with ‘out of touch’ hospital comment

GMB: Richard Madeley compares NHS to supermarkets

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Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain saw host Richard Madeley causing a stir amongst fans as he debated whether or not NHS staff should take on a seven-day working week and compared hospitals to “supermarkets”. He and Susanna Reid were accused of “interrogating” a surgeon who argued against the suggestion and the ITV show was deemed “out of touch”.

Frank Chinegwundoh joined Richard and Susanna to explain why he thought the idea was “impossible”.

“You are a surgeon, what happens in your working week?” Susanna asked the medic.

She probed: “If I needed your services at the weekend, would you be available?”

“Some weekends I would be,” the doctor replied. “Because I’m on call.”

He continued: “So there’s seven of us, and we do one weekend in seven each.”

“Right, but Monday to Friday are you on call, or are you on-site?”

“I’m on-site,” the guest answered, to which Susanna added: “So that’s the difference, isn’t it?

“If somebody needs your services urgently, that might not be something that they planned within a Monday to Friday working rota.

“Why can’t people like you perhaps be paid a little bit more to encourage you to work a full, seven-day rota?”

“Well as consultants we are contracted to do 40 hours we week,” Frank explained.

“So if that happens Monday to Friday, it means that on Saturday and Sunday I wouldn’t be on-call.”

“Well, why can’t you roster?” Richard chimed. “Like supermarket staff, so you might have slightly fewer staff day to day but you spread them over seven days, not five days a week.”

“That can be done and that is what we do, that’s what the on-call system is about,” Frank responded.

“Yes, but you’re not on-site,” Richard pressed. “This doctor who’s called for this has described his own hospital as looking like the Mary Celeste by about four o’clock on a Friday afternoon because everyone’s gone home and… gone to play golf for the weekend.”

“That’s not the case in my hospital,” Frank argued as Richard asked: “Isn’t it?”

Some viewers quickly called out the presenters over their line of questioning with Twitter user @UnInterlocutor writing: “Partridge thinks running a hospital is just like running a grocery store. AHA! #GMB.”

@theputneyfalcon echoed this, posting: “Because a hospital is exactly like a supermarket… #GMB.”

@lbd68 fumed: “#gmb you are out of touch!! The NHS are already offering a seven-day-a-week service and have done for a few years now. Appointments are even made on a Sunday evening!!”

@AndyB_252 shared: “A large proportion of the #NHS already work weekends. To achieve a full 7 day! You will need to either

Recruit more staff or redistribute staff from the weekdays. @GMB #GMB.” (sic)

@DASimmo asked: “Sorry, am I missing something? @susannareid100 & Madely on #GMB (who work 3 or 4 mornings a week at most) interrogating a doctor because he won’t work 7 days a week???”

“Susanna and Richard who work a 3/4 day week as TV presenters asking the doctor/surgeon why he’s not on call 7 days a week!!?  #GMB #shutupalready,” @KellyCh5 tweeted.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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