Twelve medical organisations have called on the Welsh government and NHS Wales to support trainee doctors to become future medical leaders.
In an open letter to Dr Andrew Goodall CBE, chief executive of NHS Wales, senior consultants from nine royal colleges and faculties, alongside the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales, GMC Wales and BMA Cymru Wales, are asking NHS bodies in Wales to look favourably on requests from doctors, especially those in training, who apply for professional leave to undertake national work for the wider benefit of the public and health services in Wales.
Dr Gareth Llewelyn, RCP vice president for Wales said:
While we all recognise that the NHS in Wales is under pressure, we also have to keep an eye on the future. It’s important that health boards and trusts look at each professional leave request on a case-by-case basis, and give clinicians the flexibility to develop their career.
It’s important that health boards and trusts look at each professional leave request on a case-by-case basis, and give clinicians the flexibility to develop their career
This is a win-win for the health service - giving trainee doctors the space to grow will help to keep more of them in Wales in the long-term, and the skills they acquire will lead to better patient care for everyone.
Royal colleges, the GMC and the BMA all rely heavily on the advice, expertise and experience of consultants, specialty doctors, trainee doctors, and other clinicians in a variety of roles. The part-time work that these doctors do alongside their clinical duties contributes to better patient care and high quality medical education.
However, many doctors, especially trainees, find themselves unable to take time away from their clinical commitments to contribute this expertise, and this risks losing the crucial voice of junior doctors as service pressures increase.