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GMC Urges Junior Doctors to Share Their Experiences of Rota Gaps

The General Medical Council (GMC) has introduced a series of questions into this year’s National Training Survey focusing on the impact of rota gaps on Junior Doctors education and training.

From 21st March 2017, the National Training Survey has started and for the first time the GMC, which oversees medical education and training in all four UK nations, has added five new questions on rotas gaps.

Last year’s National Training Survey results recommended that junior doctors with heavy workloads were more likely to miss out on teaching sessions, be asked to manage with clinical problems beyond their capability and to experience inadequate assignments with colleagues.

As a result, the GMC has introduced the new questions to examine the problem more closely and to improve the GMC’s UK-wide perspective of the impact poor rota design is having on workloads and training.

The five questions on rota design are listed below:

  • In my current post, gaps in the rota are dealt with appropriately to ensure my education and training is not adversely affected.
  • In my current post, there are sufficient staffs to confirm that patients are always treated by someone with a proper level of clinical experience.
  • In my current post, educational/training opportunities are rarely lost due to gaps in the rota.
  • I was given enough notice about my rota in advance of starting my current post.
  • The rota design in my current post helps optimise trainee doctors’ education and development.

Every year, the National Training Survey seeks views of around 60,000 doctors in training as well as 45,000 senior doctors who occupy trainer roles. It is the first time rota design has been addressed by specific questions in the National Training Survey.

The new questions on rota design have been written with response from doctors in training, investigators and key organisations to ensure they cover the key problems linked to rota design.

The chief Executive of the General Medical Council, Charlie Massey said that the Health services are under significant pressure across the UK, which is why it’s important to get as full a picture as possible of the impact service demands have on doctors in training and on the trainers.

He further added that the new questions would help to better understand the extent to which doctors’ education and training are at risk of being compromised.

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