Care Pathways

01.10.19

NHS Campaign launched to support and protect doctors in Scotland

The Royal College of Physicians has launched a new campaign called ‘Time for Doctors’ - the focus of which is to improve the working life of NHS doctors in Scotland, and in turn improve patient experience to the best possible care.

It also hopes to increase the number of medical school places each year and urges Scotland to recruit and retain a ‘world class’ medical workforce, to deal with the challenges they face.

A huge challenge Scotland faces is a population living with multiple long-term health conditions. The campaign has been launched to cope with these types of challenges and deliver quality patient care by putting doctors needs first.

The three main themes of ‘Time for Doctors’ are:

  • Time to train: ensuring that there is an increase in school places each year and providing excellent training, as doctors in training make up a lot of core hospital services.
  • Time to retain: the NHS in Scotland must retain the experience, skills and knowledge of doctors at every level. Recruiting international doctors to develop high quality workforce.
  • Time to value: With more pressure than ever, doctors must be made to feel valued. Ensuring their wellbeing is considered at all levels including mental health, diet, time management and work-life balance using the Less than Full Time (LTFT) scheme for working and training.

The idea is to use evidence on these issues to support the workforce and correctly plan the size and structure of the workforce in Scotland.

The college hopes to support doctors giving them more time to train, treat and carry out vital research to improve patient treatment.

The message of ‘Time for Doctors’ will be taken to a special exhibition at the Scottish Parliament between October 2 and October 4, along with new health priorities for Scotland regarding alcohol, health inequalities and mental health.

Professor Derek Bell, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said: “Our Time For Doctors campaign is about preparing now for the workforce of the future.

“But without quality training and support, reasons to continue working in the NHS and valuing the workforce, we don’t think this will be possible. So we are getting the message out to Scottish Ministers and MSPs that workforce planning is crucial for the future of the NHS in Scotland.

“Currently, the medical workforce faces a number of challenges in Scotland. Factors such as rota gaps, early retirement, medical student dropout rates, poor working environment and the potential impact of a no deal Brexit have all affected NHS recruitment and retention in one way or another.

 “It is vital that now, more than ever, we have effective workforce plans and policies in place to cope with demand on the NHS. It’s important that health boards continue to highlight consultant vacancies, and work with The Scottish Government and the Medical Royal Colleges to come up with effective solutions about how to fill them. The fewer consultant vacancies there are, the better the chance health boards will have of meeting treatment time targets while delivering quality care outcomes for patients.”

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