We need urgent national action to turn workforce trends
14 October 2019
- The Royal College of Physicians has published it's annual census Focus on physicians 2018 on the consultant physician and higher specialty trainee (HSTs) workforce.
- It found that close to half (43%) of advertised consultant posts went unfilled last year, and the number of consultant posts advertised fell by 33%.
- 40% of consultants and 63% of HSTs said that rota gaps occurred on a daily or weekly basis.
- 32% of HSTs reported that their morale was worse compared with a year ago.
- Over half (52%) of trainees with partners and/or children reported that work had affected their relationship with them during the past year.
Responding to the Royal College of Physicians annual report Focus on physicians, the deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
“It is disheartening to see that despite the hard work trusts are doing to make doctors feel valued, respected and supported, staff morale is decreasing and trainees relationships’ with their loved ones are being affected due to the strain of high workloads and rota gaps.
“But these results are not surprising given that the role is becoming increasingly challenging, amid ever-increasing demand and complexity of care. This is a worrying trend ahead of what is likely to be another challenging winter.
Coupled with ongoing significant rota gaps and the pensions crisis, this trend is unlikely to turn without urgent national action.Deputy Chief Executive
“Coupled with ongoing significant rota gaps and the pensions crisis, this trend is unlikely to turn without urgent national action.
“While it is useful for trusts to have been able to embed local flexibilities to reduce the impact of pension taxation, it is unlikely that consultants will stop reducing their hours until we have a clear national solution fully in place.
“We also need to see investment in education and training to ensure we are raising staff morale and, at the same time, safeguarding skills to deliver high quality patient care.”