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A BMA report revealing the most recent response from the study group reveals a worrying list of concerns:

Doctors worry about NHS services

GMC-sign_196x148pxThe British Medical Association (BMA) has been following a group of medical students who qualified as doctors in 2006, asking them about their experiences as they start their careers. A report revealing the most recent response from the study group reveals a worrying list of concerns:
•half of the doctors in the study think there are staff shortages at work;
•one in four junior doctors say they do not have enough time to deliver the quality of care that patients deserve;
•over one in four doctors feel their stress levels have become worse or much worse in the past year;
•one in four specialty trainees (doctors in the later stages of training) would describe their stress levels as “high” or “very high”;
•recently qualified GPs were more likely to report higher levels of stress;
•nine out of ten agreed that doctors’ dissatisfaction with work-life balance is a factor why people leave medicine or choose to work overseas;
•only one in four think positive change is happening in the work place;
•six in ten think changes to the NHS have had a negative effect on morale.

Dr Ben Molyneux, Chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee, commented on the report, saying:
“Training to be a consultant or GP should not be some sort of trial of endurance like appearing on ‘I’m a Celebrity…’. We owe it to our patients to change the way doctors are trained.
“It is shocking that one in four junior doctors feel they do not have enough time to offer the highest quality of care to patients. Sadly, it is not surprising when you discover that so many doctors in training are working in unacceptable, stressful environments where understaffing is commonplace.”

The BMA is currently in talks with NHS Employers about changes to junior doctors’ contracts and many of the issues raised in this report will be used as part of these discussions. Dr Molyneux added: “We will push for junior doctors to have more control of their working patterns so that they can better plan their lives and the care of their patients.”

•You can read the full report on bma.org.uk/cohortstudy.

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