Junior doctors are “losing faith” in the system that’s used to monitor their workload. New data suggests that only a fraction of their concerns are being addressed that’s leading to change to services or rosters.
The system was introduced after junior doctors went on strike in 2015-16, after a doctor filed a report that they worked beyond their contracted hours, and never had a break, as well as other contract breaches.
Chief executive of the NHS Employers Danny Mortimer said :”through the freedom of speech information request, there’s a huge variation in how trusts respond to these reports. Only 3% of these reports lead to service or roster changes.
The HCSA has received data from 121 out of 206 acute specialists and mental health trusts, and between them received 33,000 reports in a year. Only 852 (2.5%) led to changes in service or rostering. More than half of all the service changes were made in only three trusts; The Royal United Hospitals Bath FT, Barts Health, and Newcastle Upon Tyne Foundation Trust.
Meanwhile, 56 trusts received a combined 12,000 reports between them made no service changes or rostering. Chief executive Mortimer who represents the trusts said; “ there’s undoubtedly circumstances where employers want to make changes to rotas, but they just don’t have enough staff. Under the terms of the contract, hospitals should be giving trainees time off in lieu for overworking, pay them more money or review their workload.
A guardian of safe working could also give fines against a trust for over working there employees, then this money could be held in a pot to be spent on the educational needs of the doctors. If the terms are repeatedly breached, a work schedule review could be requested from the doctor. This is a process where changes to a workload maybe agreed.
The data highlighted that a few trusts completed a high number of workload schedule reviews but made minimal changes to services and rostering. President of HCSA Claudia Paoloni, told HSJ: “this research has exposed significant flaws in the system. She also said: “three trusts that account for half of the recorded rota changes, suggests a significant variation in the way reports are processed.
“We know there’s a lot of junior doctors that are overstretched and they are losing faith in exception reporting, so these figures won’t be raising their confidence. We know it’s essential for doctors to continue to exception report, the lack of faith is understandable”.
Earlier this year it was revealed there’s been more than 63,000 exception reports in two years. Something has got to be done regarding this!. How can we expect doctors and nurses to be on the ball after a 12/14 hour shift?. We have patients literally dying in hospital corridors, waiting to be seen by an overworked doctor!. Our NHS service was once great, the government needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and make priority funding, so we can regain the faith we once had in the NHS.