New toolkit to relieve registrar workload

  • Date: 14 November 2013

A NEW toolkit has been launched that aims to relieve the pressure on overworked medical registrars.

The Royal College of Physicians’ The medical registrar on call promises to help trainees improve their workload, training opportunities and supervision.

The move follows warnings from the College earlier this year that registrars’ “unmanageable” workloads were jeopardising patient safety and the quality of hospital care.

Launching the toolkit, the College reiterated those concerns, saying: “The expertise of the on-call medical registrar is relied upon heavily by many hospital and community teams. Registrars, however, are concerned about their ability to provide safe, high-quality patient care as their workload continues to increase.”

They added that registrars feel “undervalued” and junior doctors are being put off training in medical specialties because of the demands placed on registrars. The RCP called for an urgent re-evaluation of the role to ensure high quality patient care, training and recruitment as well as the retention of future consultants in general medicine.

The toolkit offers definitions of priority roles for registrars in leadership, supervision, direct patient care, communication, decision-making and training, contrasting these with non-priority roles such as routine clerking of admissions, basic clinical tests and procedures, and admin tasks.

It also includes examples of good practice that can enhance the training and working experience of medical registrars and other practical guidance on best practice.

Lead author Dr Sarah Logan said: “Implementing the recommendations [in the toolkit] will improve the training and morale of registrars which will in turn improve recruitment and retention to the grade.”


The medical registrar on call

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