A junior doctor discussion group has yet to meet this year despite continuing recruitment issues, which are of concern to the BMA.
recruitmentThe JDRG (Junior Doctor Review Group) was convened to allow the Welsh government and BMA Cymru Wales to discuss recruitment and retention problems in the country. Welsh government officials chair the group.
BMA Welsh secretary Richard Lewis said: ‘The group was meeting approximately every six weeks, with the dates for each calendar year set in the December of the previous year. The Welsh government chaired and provided the administration support for the meetings.
‘BMA Cymru Wales has always considered the JDRG as important in addressing the issues that are frustrating the ability of NHS Wales to attract and retain doctors in training.
‘No meetings of the group have been held this year, the last being held in December 2012. Meanwhile, junior doctor vacancies remain a significant issue for the NHS in Wales.’
The Welsh government has scheduled the year’s first, and so far only, meeting on October 10 after repeated requests by BMA Cymru Wales.
Dr Lewis added: ‘Given the importance of the matter, and the importance of developing robust initiatives to fill junior doctor vacancies, this does not seem like a serious commitment to turning around the recruitment difficulties we have in Wales.’
A Welsh government spokesperson said a meeting was now scheduled.
Last month, it emerged that just one specialty trainee 4 in emergency medicine was moving to Wales to train this year, despite a number of unfilled vacancies.
The Wales Deanery confirmed that, out of eight posts in emergency medicine advertised for Wales, only one had been filled.