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A frightening insight in to where our Health system might be headed

The long-awaited report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry is finally published today. This is how the scandal unfolded.

The Telegraph. 6 February 2013

Box-ticking bureaucrats are crippling the NHS... we must give life or death decisions back to doctors: Leading surgeon’s plea as he leaves the health service after 30 years

The Daily Mail, 16 March 2014

An employment warning for Queensland

The Queensland State Government is proposing a radical new employment structure based on individual contracts for anaesthetists working in public hospitals in Queensland. Talks with representatives of Queensland Health appears to be reaching an impasse.

The current offer is deeply flawed, denies natural justice and leaves individual doctors in a perilous position. Their roles as patient advocates will become degraded. There will be significant adverse impacts on staff retention, training and CME with the loss of fatigue provisions. The reduction of their employment to quartiles of managerial expediency is all about bureaucracy, rather than optimal care

Members are advised to defer any decision to work in Queensland public hospitals until this issue has been resolved.

What happens when Doctors conditions are eroded?

The experience in the UK has been that an erosion of working conditions, lack of consultation with Senior Medical Staff and the forcing of staff on to individual contracts has led to a crisis in the Health system.

Below are two articles regarding the devastating impacts of treating Doctors poorly in the UK, these focus particularly on Emergency Medicine specialists, we are currently sourcing additional information about other specialties as well.

Top consultant: 'We are haemorrhaging doctors because of A&E chaos from Mail Online

Stretched to the limit from The College of Emergency Medicine UK

The College of Emergency Medicine published a report entitled: Stretched to the limit. This is based upon a survey of Emergency Medicine consultants in the UK which had a 70% response rate (1077 respondents who work in Emergency Departments).

It shows that overall 62% regard the job they are doing running the Emergency Medicine service as unsustainable in its current form and 94% of respondents tell us that they regularly work in excess of their normal planned hours to help deliver the service. This has potentially serious repercussions for safe working by senior medical decision makers. This situation is also reducing the attractiveness of the specialty to new trainees and causing difficulties in retaining doctors and consultants who are leaving the UK in greater numbers as the report shows.

This report recommends urgent action in three key areas:

  • adherence to good job planning for consultants and other senior decision makers
  • an urgent review by the BMA and NHS Employers to consider ways in which safe and sustainable working practices for senior decision makers can be appropriately recognised
  • a clear focus to address and improve urgent and emergency care system design

To read the report please follow this link