A third of junior doctors say rota gaps have worsened their training, GMC findsBMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3226 (Published 04 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3226
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This was not an unexpected finding and was predicted by many as a consequence of the imposition of the new junior doctors contracts. A further consequence of unfilled posts is deteriorating continuity of patient care and with it lost learning opportunities. This is expected to worsen with the final stages of contract implementation in Aug-Oct 2017.
But, it is not only Junior Doctors who are finding it difficult to attend training opportunities. Consultants too are working longer hours and having less time for supporting professional activities. In the UK, consultant numbers per population are about two thirds of numbers in Italy or Germany.1 Scientific advancement, technology, patient expectations and the ageing population, a success of modern medicine, will continue to increase clinical demand at a growth rate currently outstripping the growth in Consultant (and General Practitioner and Nursing) numbers, at least in the short term.
Whether the pressure on consultants time will adversely affect the current overall excellent quality training experience provided to their trainees or not, is uncertain. The next survey will help clarify, but what should the UK GMC do in the interim to mitigate against this from happening?
1) UK has fewer doctors per person than most other OECD countries: BMJ, June 2017.
Competing interests: No competing interests