Intended for healthcare professionals


A practice that changed my patience

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 02 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1406
  1. Ian G Jefferson (, consultant paediatrician
  1. Kingston upon Hull HU9 1QH

    EDITOR—As a busy consultant paediatrician at a district general hospital on call for a bank holiday weekend I had cause to reflect on enjoyable times past and an uncertain future. The medical world is under permanent criticism by the media, much change has occurred in the structure of junior staffing, and my job is becoming much more just a job (as viewed by my employers) than the vocation I joined.

    Despite their current media image and the open ended nature of their contracts, most NHS consultants provide a good service above their employment contracts. Current negotiation of a new contract means that a resident consultant on call is inevitable to provide senior care and maintain a safety …

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