RCSEd Responds to Accounts of Lack of Care for Young Medics

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29 Mar 2019

Responding to the publication of a series of accounts that detail the lack of care and regard the NHS has for young medics, Professor Michael Griffin OBE, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:

“We are grateful for Dr Poole’s work to highlight how the NHS takes trainees for granted. The case studies she presents are not only tragic from a personal perspective but are unfortunately symptomatic of a much wider problem.

We know that hospitals rely on trainees to deliver essential services but that increasing demand is taking its toll on recruitment and retention.

Indeed, not only are there some 100,000 vacant posts in the NHS in England, but we are seeing both a reduction in the numbers choosing medicine and healthcare as a career and an increase in those leaving the professions altogether.

Dr Poole’s examples clearly show the impacts that service pressures, rota gaps, staff shortages and inflexible management are having on individual trainees. But we also know that personal and institutional behaviours are often prejudicial to teamworking and mutual support.

Therefore we need to look at every aspect of the working environment in order to create an NHS that encourages and nurtures all of the talents of it’s trainees. This must start with a commitment to listen to and then act on the concerns expressed, not just by trainees but by all staff, and ensure guaranteed time for training and caring, parity of esteem and a better work-life balance.

Royal Colleges have a vital role to play, and RCSEd is actively seeking to eradicate undermining and bullying as well as lobbying for important practical improvements to be made to the working environment.

The examples highlighted by Dr Poole show the size of the challenge ahead and the need for policy makers and NHS bodies to urgently prioritise the professional and personal needs of all trainees and staff.”


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