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[Correspondence] 24/7 consultant presence in a UK NHS tertiary maternity unit

Jeremy Hunt, UK health secretary, has assertively announced plans to impose consultant contracts that dictate consultant presence in hospitals 24 h a day, 7 days a week (24/7).1 The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, in its report High Quality Women’s Health Care: A Proposal for Change, has also recommended 168 h of consultant presence per week in maternity units with more than 6000 births per year.2