Trainees’ concerns over poor handover and long hours

  • Date: 13 June 2013

A FIFTH of trainee doctors have raised concerns over poor patient handovers and of feeling sleep deprived at work.

An annual national survey of UK trainees by the General Medical Council found 20 per cent of trainees said handover arrangements before and after night duty were informal or that there were no arrangements at all.

More than half of those surveyed (58.5 per cent) also said they worked beyond their agreed hours on a daily or weekly basis with just over 22 per cent feeling short of sleep at work. Around a third of trainees described their daytime workload as “heavy” while one in 10 said it was “very heavy”.

A total of 52,797 trainees responded to the National training survey 2013, a response rate of 97.7 per cent.

Other results showed 15 per cent of trainees felt forced to cope with clinical problems beyond their competence or experience on a weekly or monthly basis. Just over half of the 6,000 GP trainees surveyed said they have felt forced to work beyond their competence. Of these, a fifth said this happened daily, weekly or monthly with the rest saying it happened “rarely”.

Despite these concerns, overall satisfaction remains high with just over 80 per cent satisfied with their training and 90 per cent saying they were supervised by someone who was competent to do so.

GP trainees remain the most satisfied with their training, which is the same as in previous surveys. They gave an average satisfaction score of 87.9 per cent. Surgical trainees are the least satisfied at 77.1 per cent, but the figure is up on last year’s 69 per cent. The vast majority of trainees (79 per cent) thought the post would be very useful or useful for their future career.

The GMC said it plans to work with those involved in medical training, including managers and medical directors, to “bring about further improvements and change.”

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson added: “Almost 98 per cent of doctors in training have told us about their experiences and we are greatly encouraged by the continued increase in satisfaction with their training.

“Doctors in training provide frontline care to patients so it is vital that we use these results to make sure their training environment continues to improve and to be safe for patients.”


National training survey 2013

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