Reply to: Independent article: Junior doctor burnout rising with one in four struggling with workload, NHS training survey reveals.

12 Jul 2019
Responding to the Independent’s coverage of the General Medical Council’s (GMC) 2019 national training survey, Dr Mike Jones, Medical Director for Training and Development at the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, said:
 
“We are aware of the impact of heavy workloads on doctors in training, particularly those who look after very sick patients.
In response we have developed standards (our “quality criteria”) to help educationalists and employers (hospital trusts) to improve the quality of training and the support offered for doctors in training in the medical (physician) specialties, who work in some of the areas of heaviest hospital demand. These address many of the issues raised in the article in the “Independent” – exhaustion on the wards, burnout, lack of rest facilities, travel when tired and insufficient notice of rotas.
 
These standards have been monitored annually by the GMC’s national training survey and, when introduced for core medical training in 2015 resulted in significant trainee-reported improvements in eight of thirteen core areas.
 
We have also designed a new Internal Medicine curriculum and programme, to be implemented from August 2019, which takes a new approach. It improves opportunities in training afforded to hospital doctors training in the physician specialties and introduces a new, more meaningful and less bureaucratic and more holistic approach to the assessment of each doctor’s performance.
We believe these significant new measures will help to improve the longer-term training experience of doctors who work on the wards, night and day, to provide high-quality patient care.
 
We are also working with other stakeholders, including NHS Employers, to develop roles that will assist with, and continue to monitor, the implementation of these quality criteria standards and that will ensure the wellbeing of doctors training in the physician specialties.”
 
For more information on the quality criteria, see the GIM/AIM Quality Criteria page.