Hospital Dr News

GMC urges doctors in training to share their experiences of rota gaps

The GMC is to ask doctors about the impact of rota gaps on their education and training, as part of this year’s national training survey (NTS).

The regulator has added five new questions on rotas to its annual survey, which opened this week.

Results from last year’s NTS suggested that doctors in training with heavy workloads were more likely to miss out on teaching sessions, be asked to cope with clinical problems beyond their competence and to experience inadequate handovers with colleagues.

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

It is the first-time rota design has been has been addressed by specific questions in the NTS, which seeks the views of around 60,000 doctors in training and 45,000 senior doctors who act as trainers.

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: “Health services are under significant pressure across all four UK nations, which is why it’s important we get as full a picture as possible of the impact service demands have on doctors in training and on the trainers.

“Adding specific questions on rota design into this year’s NTS will help us better understand the extent to which doctors’ education and training are at risk of being compromised, and follows the feedback we received from last year’s surveys.

“After last year’s surveys we voiced our concerns that heavy workloads were eroding time needed for training, and we wrote to employers reminding them of their obligations.”

The NTS, for doctors in training and doctors who act as trainers, runs until Wednesday 3 May. Click here to contribute.

The five new questions on rota design:

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