THE GMC SURVEY DETAILS WHAT JUNIOR DOCTORS HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS
The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) is saddened to hear the results of the initial findings report of the GMC National Training Survey 2018. It details what junior doctors have been saying for many years, that they are burnt out, exhausted and often work beyond their rostered hours. In addition to this around a third of doctors reported that they had missed training opportunities due to rota gaps. At the time of the junior doctors contract dispute, grassroots doctors warned of burn out, understaffing and a lack of good quality training opportunities.
High pressure working environments have been seen throughout the NHS over the winter period, being described as a ‘war zone’ and ‘humanitarian crisis’. Unlike previous years, this pressure has not eased in the spring and summer, yielding a year-long crisis. Almost a quarter of doctors feel burnt out because of their work with 57% reporting that they are worn out at the end of a working day. About a third of doctors report lost training opportunities due to gaps in rotas.
Almost half the doctors who completed the survey stated that they have worked beyond their rostered hours. The safeguards set into the imposed 2016 contract of exception reporting are clearly not working to prevent the overworking of the doctor workforce. At a time where the contract is being reviewed, we call on all stakeholders to review the efficacy of the exception reporting process and address the real issues doctors face on the front line of rota gaps, overwork, fatigue and loss of training.