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Competency fears as students drafted in to cope

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CARTER: 'Hospitals are resorting to desparate measures'

Medical students have been urged to stay within their competency when responding to calls to ease pressures on NHS staff over the winter.

This warning was issued following reports that Keele Medical School had encouraged students to volunteer in local wards and emergency medicine departments as part of a ‘collective effort at a time of national crisis’.

BMA medical students committee co-chair Harrison Carter said: ‘While the Government insists the NHS was better prepared than ever before for winter, this shows hospitals resorting to desperate measures to cope with a system struggling with increased demand and lack of staff and resources.’

Mr Carter said it was essential that students stayed within their level of competency, adding that politicians should work with the BMA and NHS managers to address the underlying causes of the crisis.

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