The General Medical Council (GMC) survey has found that over half of doctors in training are still working longer hours than they should, more than one in five are regularly left short of sleep by their working patterns, and roughly three in ten feel that rota gaps affect their training opportunities.
For the annual report, the GMC surveyed more than 53,000 doctors in training, and more than 24,000 senior doctors who act as trainers. The National Training Surveys were open between March and May this year, and achieved response rates of 98 per cent for doctors in training and 53 per cent for trainers.
The figures show a slight improvement on 2016, when 58 per cent said they worked beyond rostered hours weekly. The GMC is analysing the data more closely and will publish a more detailed report later in the year.
Charlie Massey, the chief executive of General Medical Council said that the workload issues, and the impact they can have on doctors’ education and training, remain a persistent and troubling issue.
It is very important that doctor training providers do what they can protect the quality of training and the wellbeing of doctors, using the results of this year’s surveys to target their efforts, he added.
Commenting on the findings, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers said that the findings highlights the work that employers and senior medical professionals must still do to improve the safe working and effective education of junior doctors.
Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, the chair of BMA junior doctors committee said the findings were unacceptable.
He said the British Medical Council has argued for years that rota gaps are a serious threat to patient security, to the education and training junior doctors receive and to the confidence of staff that is why BMA agreed with the GMC that national training surveys should include a focus on rota gaps.
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