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Call to reinstate mess facilities for all juniors

All NHS hospitals should reconsider their ‘short-sightedness’ in removing mess facilities and rest rooms, doctors and medical students agreed.

latifa patelThe BMA annual representative meeting in Edinburgh heard of the detrimental effect of newly built hospitals not being equipped with such facilities.

Doctors and medical students urged the BMA to ensure the provision of mess facilities was included in any changes to the junior doctor contract.

Liverpool foundation doctor 2 Latifa Patel (pictured) said the proliferation of hospitals built under the controversial PFI (private finance initiative) had seen buildings designed without mess facilities and rest rooms in which junior doctors could take vital breaks.

She added that any rooms that were introduced after the hospitals had been built were often in mobile buildings far from the hospital wards.

Dr Patel said juniors were the heart of hospitals, providing important care and proper facilities were needed.

‘Looking after your heart is essential – and we are your heart,’ she said.

The meeting agreed that the BMA should promote its guidance on minimum requirements for rest facilities which chimed with national guidance.