NHS :: BMA warns of more cancelled operations as junior doctor chaos hits NHS

The last-minute scramble to fill junior doctor posts in England means more operations will be cancelled, the BMA warns. Thirty thousand junior doctors are starting new jobs in England* today, and a catalogue of new problems are emerging, such as:

Consultants being unable to plan operating lists, because they have had no idea which junior doctors will be on their team, or what skills they will have

Junior doctors being forced to miss clinical commitments because of last-minute interviews

Doctors starting new posts being given no information about the hours they will be working, or even what time to arrive at their new hospital

Complete confusion about the recruitment process, with doctors who had a job lined up suddenly being moved to a different hospital at short notice

Trusts not replacing junior doctors who have moved, or spending large amounts on locums

Doctors being offered posts for which they are overqualified, including non-medical roles

Dr Ian Wilson, deputy chairman of the BMA Consultants Committee, says:

?Posts have been left unfilled up to the eleventh hour. Consultants don?t know who?s going to be on their team, how skilled they?ll be, or how much training they?ll need. Any forward planning has been impossible. It?s inevitable that more operations and clinics will have to be postponed.?

Over the last two days, there has been a sharp increase in the number of doctors without jobs seeking advice from the BMA. This is despite a commitment from the Department of Health in England that all NHS doctors who applied through the new system would be able to work at least until the end of October.

Dr Tom Dolphin, deputy chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, says: ?The situation is completely nonsensical. Doctors have been facing the real possibility of unemployment, but at the same time, trusts are cancelling operations. There has been appalling confusion in the NHS over the last few weeks. No-one knows what?s going on.

?The whole recruitment process this year has been an unmitigated disaster. The medical profession is fighting to make sure it never happens again.?

The BMA is launching a new political campaign and urging all doctors to contact their MPs to pressure the government to honour its commitment. It has written to NHS Employers ? the body representing NHS trusts ? challenging its recent claim that doctors ?have no guaranteed employment? after 31 July.

Leave a Comment