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Scheme to improve work-life balance in emergency medicine

Junior doctors contract roadshow, St Mary's London, 16 June 2016
TIME OUT: The LTFT pilot aims to allow doctors to balance their jobs and lives

Junior doctors in emergency medicine will have the opportunity to work part time to help balance their careers and lifestyle, thanks to a new pilot scheme.

A scheme drawn up by the BMA, HEE (Health Education England) and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine will mean that registrars working in emergency medicine roles in England will, for the first time, have the chance to apply to work less-than full-time hours to make work and training more compatible with non-work commitments.

The move comes as part of a joint initiative aimed at increasing flexibility in junior doctors’ training, and BMA junior doctors committee deputy chair Sarah Hallett said the scheme was a welcome and important step towards improving the work-life balance in emergency medicine.

She said: ‘This initiative recognises the growing reality that many doctors would like greater levels of flexibility around working patterns, so that they can better accommodate their training and career aspirations alongside other interests and commitments in their lives.

‘Emergency medicine is one of a number of areas in medicine facing growing challenges in terms of recruitment and retention of staff.

‘Acknowledging staff needs and providing doctors with the opportunity to work more flexibly has the potential to improve the working lives of many trainees, and help to attract greater numbers of doctors to emergency medicine.’

Previously, applications to work LTFT fell under either one of two categories – the first relating to limitations on working resulting from disability or carer responsibilities, with the second concerning unique opportunities for personal or professional development.

Emergency medicine trainees of specialty trainee 4 or above, as well as ST3 doctors soon to become ST4s, are eligible to apply under the terms of the scheme.

The scheme is initially scheduled to run for one year, with the BMA set to take part in a follow-up evaluation into the success of the project.

Doctors interested in accessing the pilot scheme should speak to their local HEE office. The deadline for applications closes on 28 April.

Find out more about flexible training

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