The UK government's proposal for 24-hour healthcare means effectively asking doctors to work more unsociable hours for relatively little financial gain. In our opinion, psychiatry is particularly vulnerable to deterioration owing to negotiations of the terms of the current Consultant Contract that ensures fewer antisocial hours, whereas without parallel appropriate internal team and intra-agency working, provisions for which are not included in the government's proposals to extend care, patient care is vulnerable. Clarification and a narrower redefinition of what constitutes a psychiatric emergency is called for.
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