NHS to have minimum junior doctor staffing
This is a campaign, initiated by doctors, to implore our government to commit to some basic medical staffing safeguards.
At present, there is no nationwide system in place to define what numbers of patients it is safe for a junior doctor to be responsible for, on their wards, or during on call shifts. This leaves a grave danger that understaffed hospital trusts can, and many do, leave less experienced junior doctors with many more patients than they are safely able to care for.
Please sign the petition if you are an NHS doctor, and agree that NHS England needs to ask every hospital to identify safe minimum junior doctor staffing levels in their clinical environments. The campaign is designed to act as a voice for medical professionals, to collectively express our concern about patient safety. Please sign with your full name, grade, workplace and GMC number.
Junior doctors believe that they do not have whistle-blowing protection. Therefore, if they raise a concern about medical staffing levels, they fear they might lose their hard-fought-for careers and livelihoods. There is also a culture of fear and intimidation within the NHS which keeps many doctors silent about staffing concerns.
A recent survey of over 950 junior doctors revealed some worrying statistics about the threat that junior doctor staffing in the NHS poses to patients. This revealed, amongst other findings (see blog post 'junior doctor survey' at www.safermedicalstaffing.wordpress.com ) that:
- 94% had worked on a ward where they felt the staffing levels of junior doctors posed a threat to patient safety.
To emphasise the seriousness of this issue... I am a hospital manager. I take just one ward. I do not employ enough junior doctors to manage the patient load. They struggle daily to see their patients, prescribe their medicines, discover new illnesses, react to emergencies. One or two patients may suffer, one or two may die. This may continue over many months or even years. The result could be hundreds of unnecessary deaths. Now consider it was your mother or father, son or daughter, on that ward. With not enough doctors. Who died...
This is not good enough, and as doctors we will not accept this.