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‘We risk losing the crucial voice of junior doctors as NHS pressures increase’

Twelve national medical organisations have come together today (Wednesday 13 February) to urge the Welsh government and NHS Wales to support trainee doctors to become future medical leaders. 

 

An open letter (attached) to Dr Andrew Goodall CBE, chief executive of NHS Wales has been signed by senior consultants from 9 royal colleges and faculties, as well as the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales, GMC Wales and BMA Cymru Wales.

 

Together, they are asking Dr Goodall and NHS bodies in Wales to look favourably on requests from doctors, especially those in training, who apply for professional leave to undertake national work for the wider benefit of the public and health services in Wales.

 

Royal colleges, the GMC and the BMA all rely heavily on the advice, expertise and experience of consultants, specialty doctors, trainee doctors, and other clinicians in a variety of roles. The part time work that these doctors do alongside their clinical duties contributes to better patient care and high quality medical education.

 

However, many doctors, especially trainees, find themselves unable to take time away from their clinical commitments to contribute this expertise, and this risks losing the crucial voice of junior doctors as service pressures increase.

 

Dr Gareth Llewelyn, RCP vice president for Wales said:

 

‘While we all recognise that the NHS in Wales is under pressure, we also have to keep an eye on the future. It’s important that health boards and trusts look at each professional leave request on a case-by-case basis, and give clinicians the flexibility to develop their career. This is a win-win for the health service - giving trainee doctors the space to grow will help to keep more of them in Wales in the long-term, and the skills they acquire will lead to better patient care for everyone.’

 

 

Dr Andrew Goodall CBE

Director General Health & Social Services/NHS Wales Chief Executive Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

cc NHS Wales health boards and trusts
cc Health Education and Improvement Wales

Dear Andrew,

Baltic House Mount Stuart Square Cardiff CF10 5FH

13 February 2019

We have come together today as a group of medical organisations, including royal colleges and faculties, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the GMC and the BMA, to urge you and your colleagues in Welsh health boards to look favourably on requests from doctors, especially those in training, who apply for professional leave to undertake national work for the wider benefit of the public and health services in Wales. This follows advice issued in June 2017 by the GMC, NHS England and the chief medical officers of all four UK nations.

Royal colleges, the GMC and the BMA all rely heavily on the advice, expertise and experience of consultants, specialty doctors, trainee doctors, and other clinicians in a variety of roles. The part time work these people undertake alongside their clinical duties contributes a great deal to the quality and safety of patient care, medical education, and the planning, delivery and quality improvement of health and care services. However, many doctors, especially trainees, find themselves unable to take time away from their clinical commitments to contribute this expertise, and this risks losing the crucial voice of junior doctors as service pressures increase.

While we fully understand that in the current climate there is considerable pressure on NHS resources, we would encourage NHS employers to look at each request on a case-by-case basis; hopefully you will agree that the leadership activity carried out by clinical staff is a future investment in the health service and a reflection of the high standards in our organisations. The experience gained by these individuals will directly benefit the wider workforce, and so we would be grateful if you could bring this to the attention of health boards, and encourage them to support these requests in a positive way.

Please do contact our colleague Lowri Jackson, RCP head of policy and campaigns for Wales by emailing Lowri.Jackson@rcplondon.ac.uk if there is anything that we can do to support your work.

With best wishes,

Royal College of Physicians Cymru Wales, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FH Coleg Brenhinol y Meddygon Cymru, Tŷ Baltic, Sgwâr Mount Stuart, Caerdydd CF10 5FH +44 (0)74 5812 9164www.rcplondon.ac.uk/walesWales@rcplondon.ac.uk

Royal College of Physicians Cymru Wales

Professor Andrew Goddard

President, Royal College of Physicians

Dr Gareth Llewelyn

Vice president for Wales, Royal College of Physicians

Dr Peter Saul

Joint Wales chair, Royal College of GPs

Dr Mair Hopkins

Joint Wales chair, Royal College of GPs

Dr Esther Youd

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales

Professor SM Griffin OBE

President, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Dr David Tuthill

Officer for Wales, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Mr Tim Havard MD FRCS

Wales director, Royal College of Surgeons of England

Dr Jonathan Kell

Wales chair, Royal College of Pathology

Dr Sunil Dolwani

Council member for Wales, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Dr Abrie Theron

Welsh Advisory Board chair, Royal College of Anaesthetists

Dr Jack Parry-Jones

Officer for Wales, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine

Katie Laugharne

Head of Wales Office, General Medical Council (GMC)

Dr David Bailey

Chair, BMA Welsh Council

Royal College of Physicians Cymru Wales, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff CF10 5FH Coleg Brenhinol y Meddygon Cymru, Tŷ Baltic, Sgwâr Mount Stuart, Caerdydd CF10 5FH +44 (0)74 5812 9164www.rcplondon.ac.uk/walesWales@rcplondon.ac.uk