From: Dr Rob Harwood, Chair, British Medical Association consultants committee.
A RECENT survey of BMA members found that two-thirds had been asked to act up into more senior roles or cover for more junior colleagues, while eight in 10 said that individuals at their hospital were encouraged to take on the workload of multiple staff.
As doctors and other healthcare workers are forced to spread themselves more thinly, the cost to patient care is clear.
However, with hospitals relying more heavily on temporary workers, the financial implications are also huge.
At a time when an under-resourced NHS is operating at capacity, millions are spent plugging rota gaps – and this cannot be allowed to become a long-term solution.
The Government must urgently address the recruitment crisis across medicine and the wider NHS if the health service is to keep up with rising demand.
Better workforce planning with commissioners and employers is a start, but Ministers also need to address the underlying reason for the shortage. Trusts must be supported in improving the working lives of doctors and ensure they are made to feel valued. Such pressures put doctors at higher risk of stress and burnout, and this can ultimately lead to deteriorating patient care.
While these worrying trends show no signs of reversal in the short term, Brexit is also likely to have a profoundly negative effect on the NHS workforce, with almost half of EEA doctors telling the BMA they are considering leaving the UK, 40 per cent of whom have already made plans to go. This is just one area in which Brexit presents a real danger to the nation’s health, and why voters must be given a say on any final Brexit deal.
From: Philip Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
THREE cheers for a fair and common sense politician. Boris Johnson has my greatest admiration and respect (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, September 8). I would be very pleased and delighted if he were to become the next Prime Minister. He would point this country in the right direction.
From: Geoff Marsden, Buxton Avenue, Heanor, Derby.
I REFER to the advocates of a second referendum because they lost the first.
I reckon if or when Leeds United lose the first game this season your letterbox will be crammed with requests for a replay.