Number of consultant posts has fallenBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7554.1394-b (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1394
All rapid responses
In a desperate effort to offset the current NHS deficit of £1.3b, it
appears nothing is sacrosanct including axing of frontline staff like
nurses and doctors, closing of beds/hospitals and now emerging evidence
suggesting consultants to be would have to brace themselves for an
unscheduled trip to the job-centres to 'sign-on'.
W.A. Holden, showed that the number of consultant posts may have
effectively fallen using advertisements rate in the BMJ Careers, comparing
number of consultant jobs advertised at a particular period this year and
for a similar period last year . Meaning that, there may be no new
consultant posts for specialist registrars who have successfully completed
their training, to move on to.
This is supported by recent revelation by the president of the Royal
college of surgeons, Bernard Ribeiro, that 37 cardiothoracic surgeons, 12
Neurosurgeons, 35 ENT surgeons are without jobs as a possible result of a
'vacancy freeze' adopted by NHS trusts to balance their books . The
figures for that of the medical specialties is yet to be released. Do not
mind the huge sum of tax-payers' money used in the training of these
highly skilled doctors. It is a well known secret that trusts across the
country including those not in deficit, are not advertising vacancies even
for very 'essential jobs' as a fall out of this financial crisis. The cost
of its impact on patient care is apparently not now a priority.
It is quite revealing that the NHS is doing its utmost to move away
from a consultant-led NHS as we knew it, to a manager-led one, ignoring
its own laudable battle-cry of a patient-centered service. And if this
were the case, how come are we now seeing a proliferation of new
consultants (italics mine)in the guise of manager consultants, nurse
consultants, physiotherapist consultants, O.T. consultants amongst others?
An NHS reform process that keeps its young and most highly skilled
staff in the unemployment market can only represent in the words of a
previous director in the strategy unit of the DOH, a 'creative destruction
of the NHS'.
1. Holden W.A. Number of consultant posts has fallen. BMJ
2. bma news (June 10 2006): 'Absudity' of jobless doctors.
3. Ham C. Creative destruction in the NHS. BMJ 2006;332:
I am doing a locum consultant job awaiting a substantive post.
Competing interests: No competing interests