BMA urges government rethink on medical training changes

The government must rethink its proposals for changes to medical training, doctors have said.

Delegates at the Annual Representatives' Meeting of the BMA in Cardiff have unanimously voted that the DoH's Developing the Healthcare Workforce proposals threaten consistent high quality training.

Dr Sheerlata Datta, on behalf of the junior doctors' council, demanded the ‘retention of postgraduate deaneries in the absence of clear and acceptable provision for how and by whom their functions otherwise would be carried out’,

Dr Datta said: ‘The proposals do as much to threaten the provision of high quality patient care as anything in the Health Bill itself.

‘The proposals encourage an untested local approach towards planning with no obvious national coordination. This will translate into chaos. There is a very real threat to the long term future of deaneries and with them the quality management of our training.’

Dr Datta said that ‘mysterious’ employer education training boards were seen as taking on training, but employers were still being asked to deliver £20bn in savings.

Dr Darshan Brahmbhatt from the Eastern council said:  ‘When you have conflicts of interest such as employers having to make savings, it becomes difficult to prioritise service over training.’

Chairman of the BMA Dr Hamish Meldrum said the issue was already high on the BMA agenda and that it was part of its response to the Health Bill. 

The signs are that on this issue they [the government] are listening to us. ‘The more pressure put on them the better, and this motion will help.’ Dr Meldrum said.

Delegates also voted unanimously in favour of a motion presented by Dr Alan Robertson calling for ‘any qualified providers’ to provide training facilities.

The motion called for the ‘UK government to require new providers of NHS services to at least match the facilities available in the current providers of the NHS services for medical education and research’.

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