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Medicopolitical Digest

Medicopolitical digestSteps needed to solve NHS workforce problemsGMC wants to improve SHOs' trainingHealth action zones receive boostBMA would oppose single NHS pay spine

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 30 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:335

Steps needed to solve NHS workforce problems

In its latest evidence to the House of Commons health select committee into the NHS workforce the BMA says that several solutions are needed to solve the current problems in supply. There should be improved working conditions; support for flexible working; better pay; realistic workforce planning and consultant expansion; and more student exposure to general practice.

The association points out that the numbers of doctors working in the NHS are insufficient for the activity expected of them. Simply replacing the 2000 doctors who leave the hospital service and general practice each year takes around 45% of the output of United Kingdom medical schools. But the BMA believes that because of increased activities and increased demand for care about 80% of medical school output is spoken for before any account is taken of complicating factors. These include the fact that over half of new graduates are women and over a lifetime will supply less full time hours of work than those they are replacing; …

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