Responding to the publication of a series of accounts that details the lack of care and regard the NHS has for young medics, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) President Professor Michael Griffin OBE, believes the case studies are symptomatic of a much wider problem.
The dossier was compiled by Dr Joanna Poole, an anaesthetic registrar, who collated accounts from trainees from across the UK.
Prof Griffin said: “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 its talents. This must start with a commitment to listen to act on the concerns expressed not just by trainees but all staff and put in place 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.”
Image courtesy of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh