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Doctors report lack of STP engagement

Almost two-thirds of doctors have seen no clinical or public engagement on STPs (sustainability and transformation plans), according to a BMA survey.

Results from the association’s latest quarterly survey reveal 64 per cent of doctors said they had witnessed no engagement on the STP process in their area, despite expectations that all 44 plans would be published by the end of 2016.

The findings also show that while seven out of 10 doctors are aware of STPs only one in 10 supported their introduction, with six in 10 unsure of their position.

The figures are likely to generate further concern with the lack of engagement on STPs by regional health leaders, with the BMA having called for greater clarity of the proposed transformations.

A survey of more than 600 London-based doctors carried out in September found that almost 60 per cent had not heard of STPs, with around three quarters unsure on their feelings on the plans.

These results from the latest survey show that awareness among doctors is increasing but many are still in the dark.


Low morale

Sent out to 1,000 doctors between 11 October and 1 November, the BMA’s third quarterly survey of 2016 posed a range of questions on areas such as morale, workload and work-life balance.

Although 24 per cent said their morale was either high or very high – up six percentage points on the same quarter in 2015 – more than a third of doctors reported low or very low morale levels.

The results also showed a considerable concern for the health service’s ability to cope with demand pressures brought on by the winter weather.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said: ‘These figures are cause for serious concern as, while there is an ever increasing demand for health services across the NHS, this is hugely exacerbated during the winter months.

‘Demand is now so great that hospitals are experiencing a year-round crisis, with a lack of available beds preventing the system from coping with a seasonal spike in demand.

‘It is vital that there is sufficient capacity across the entire health and social care system, including in emergency departments, general practice and social and community care.’

Read the survey

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