Doctors need to stop moaning and take responsibility for improving the NHS, the leader of Britain’s medics has said.
Ministers have given the NHS a “substantial sum” of money and doctors must now stop blaming the government for all its problems, Carrie MacEwen, chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, told The Times.
Britain’s 220,000 doctors have a professional duty to make the health service’s ten-year plan work and can no longer “sit on their hands”, Professor MacEwen said. After years in which the loudest medical voices have tended to complain about government funding and staffing levels, she said that doctors should take advantage of a “golden opportunity”.
The academy brings together 23 medical royal colleges and faculties that define standards of treatment for the NHS and its words carry weight across the profession. Professor MacEwen is keen to use her influence to set a new professional tone.
“There’s an attitude and culture that needs to be addressed,” she said. “Everybody has to take responsibility. If we continue to blame government and only government then we will not get anywhere.
“Too often doctors will moan to each other in the mess room about things ‘They’ve done now’, not realising that it’s often actually in their gift to change the situation. They cannot simply sit on their hands. Things are improving, but change is piecemeal, the profession needs to unite and seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
Samantha Batt-Rawden, co-founder of Doctors’ Association UK, a grassroots medical group, said that doctors did speak up but that the biggest problems in the NHS were “simply out of our control”.
She said: “It’s clear that the solution is not going to be from clinicians, but those setting the rules. For doctors who have been working themselves into the ground to keep patients safe this winter a suggestion that they should take responsibility for the situation they have found themselves working in seems out of touch, and will no doubt be a further blow to morale.”
Excerpt from The Times, read the full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/stop-moaning-and-get-a-grip-doctors-told-by-their-leader-lr7xshzx9
Our full quote to The Times: “Professor MacEwan is entirely right when she states that leadership and decision-making has been taken away from doctors over the last two decades. However, it has always been in the DNA of doctors as our patient’s advocates to speak out on the state of the NHS. Recent lightning rods such as the junior doctor contract, enforced despite widespread protests, and the Bawa-Garba case have no doubt decimated morale, but have seen the medical profession unite and doctors raise their voice. As frontline clinicians we are acutely aware of the state of the NHS. Sadly it is often the case that we left explaining to patients for things that are simply out of our control. Looking at the key performance indicators for the NHS, it’s clear that the solution is not going to be from clinicians, but those setting the rules. For doctors who have been working themselves into the ground to keep patients safe this winter a suggestion that they should take responsibility for the situation they have found themselves working seems out of touch, and will no doubt be a further blow to morale.“