The Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) Feeling the pressure: Patient care in an overstretched NHS in Wales report documents the results of a snapshot survey on the winter pressures faced by doctors in Wales.
Among the results of the survey, the RCP found that:
Across Wales, consultant and trainee physicians are working at the hospital front door and on the wards. These physicians are leading the multidisciplinary care of thousands of people every day, working with colleagues in primary and social care to put patients at the very centre of our NHS. But despite their hard work, our fellows and members are struggling to cope. The recruitment crisis is getting worse – last year, we were unable to fill 40% of consultant physician vacancies in Wales and there are major trainee rota gaps in every hospital in Wales. This simply cannot continue.
Above all, we need to give front-line clinicians ... the time and space to innovate, and the freedom and support to step beyond organisational walls
In all our hospitals, we are now seeing the impact of a historically underfunded social care system. We must transform a fragmented NHS by improving joined-up planning across health and social care. Above all, we need to give front-line clinicians – and their partners in social care – the time and space to innovate, and the freedom and support to step beyond organisational walls.
The NHS in Wales must step up to the challenge. We need to:
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact RCP senior policy and public affairs adviser Lowri Jackson by email at Lowri.Jackson@rcplondon.ac.uk.