Commenting on the General Medical Council’s The state of medical education and practice in the UK: workforce report 2022, Dr John Holden, chief medical officer at MDDUS – the doctors’ defence organisation – said:
“Removing barriers with the aim of solving staffing issues the NHS is facing is a welcome idea from the GMC, as indeed is any innovation that creates sustainable opportunities for doctors and promotes patient care. “What it must not do, however, is put a sticking plaster over a problem.
“Recruitment, retention and falling morale in general practice remains a serious issue. We are concerned that simply moving locally employed (LE) and specialty and associate specialty (SAS) doctors into primary care will not make any of these problems better.
“The SoMEP report itself highlights this, finding that ‘dissatisfaction with role, place of work or NHS culture was the most commonly cited reason for leaving’.
“In addition, what would be the impact of SAS and LE doctors leaving secondary care for primary care? We know NHS waiting lists are the highest they have ever been.
“It’s incredibly important that we don’t overlook the need for acceptable working conditions, including access to safe places to rest and the availability of decent food, in a rush to translate additional resource from one professional setting into another.”
The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) is a mutual organisation that protects the professional interests of more than 54,000 doctors and dentists across the United Kingdom, offering access to indemnity, support and legal advice.
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