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Royal College of Surgeons’ response to GMC’s annual survey of medical education and training in the UK

01 Dec 2016

The General Medical Council has today published its annual survey of medical education and training in the UK. The survey shows that increasingly heavy workloads are eroding the time doctors have for training. Over half of doctors in training reported that they regularly work beyond their rostered hours. The survey also found that doctors with excessive workloads were more likely to have to leave teaching sessions to answer clinical calls.

Responding to the GMC’s findings, Miss Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“The findings of the GMC’s training survey echo what we are hearing from our own members. Surgeons in training, alongside other doctors, are too often taken for granted by their hospitals, frequently being over-relied on to deliver NHS services and covering rota gaps at the expense of training. We are particularly concerned that access to theatre time and the learning of craft skill has become severely limited in the early years of training.

“The junior doctor dispute has also left morale throughout our hospital workforce at an all-time low.

“Patient care suffers when our workforce is unhappy. As a College, we are pushing for a return of the team or ‘firm’ structure so that surgeons feel better supported in their training. We are also beginning to pilot improvements to training in general surgery, with a focus on the quality of training and a better training-service balance for trainees.

“The future of the NHS depends on our workforce. Training must enable trainees to learn as well as provide the best possible patient care. The health service must make more effort to nurture this invaluable resource.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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