Royal College of Physicians (RCP) president Professor Jane Dacre called the results of the British Medical Association's (BMA's) latest Workload and wellbeing survey 'further evidence of the ongoing crisis in our NHS'.
The quarterly paper revealed that 71% of hospital-based respondents reported rota gaps in the departments in which they work, which the BMA said points to increased pressure on existing [NHS] staff 'who are likely to have to increase their own workload to compensate for these rota gaps.' Additionally, 65%of hospital speciality respondents reported that there were medical doctor vacancies in their departments, and only 17% felt valued by the government and politicians.
In response to the findings Professor Dacre said:
The BMA survey is further evidence of the ongoing crisis in our NHS. Across the professions everyone is working hard to keep our NHS going, but this shouldn’t mask the fact that those on the frontline are increasingly demoralised and concerned about their ability to deliver the standard of care they were trained to deliver. It is vital that we act now to increase the number of doctors.
... those on the frontline are increasingly demoralised and concerned about their ability to deliver the standard of care they were trained to deliver.
As I said in October, in the short term we need to recruit doctors from overseas by expanding the Medical Training Initiative and making it easier for doctors from other countries to come to the UK to learn from supervised practice. The immediate workforce pressures on the NHS need to be addressed so we can concentrate on a long term solution for the whole health and social care system.
Health Education England has made a start with its consultation on a workforce strategy for the next 10 years. However, the government, NHS organisations, Royal Colleges, professions, trade unions, regulators, higher education institutions and policy think tanks need to work together to combat staff shortages.
BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said that the findings were the latest addition to a 'growing and irrefutable mountain of evidence' that demonstrated that the government needed to make a drastic change to the way it funded and staffed the health service.