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Emergency care crisis undermines training

Waiting-time targets and poorly designed rotas are having an impact on the training of emergency medicine doctors, a seminar has heard.

Tim YatesTrainees told the event co-hosted by the BMA how the four-hour waiting-time target and staffing difficulties in emergency departments meant they were often acting as triage services with no time for training.

Emergency Medicine — the Future is Now, held as part of the Emergency Medicine Trainees Association’s annual meeting, also heard junior doctors’ concerns about a lack of protected time for training outside the clinical environment.

London specialty trainee 5 in emergency medicine Tom Boon said all rotas for higher specialty trainees should have protected time for specialist and academic personal development.

College of Emergency Medicine dean Kevin Reynard agreed this was important and should be incorporated as a routine part of rotas.

Value for money

BMA junior doctors committee joint deputy chair Tim Yates (pictured above) said the training time issue had to be addressed by hospital management.

He told the trainees: ‘If [hospital management] want to improve their service and if they value their staff, they have to put their own money behind you.’

Responding to concerns about the impact of the four-hour target on training, Dr Reynard, an emergency medicine consultant in Leeds, said: ‘The position we are in now is better for patients [since the days of 12-hour trolley waits] although it has had a knock-on effect on training and the practical skills that we do.

‘I decry the fact that we are losing the skills within our specialty to do so many practical procedures that we did routinely. We need to turn the clock back in that regard.’

Watch a video of the seminar

The story so far