Working practices in emergency medicine need to be safe and sustainable, says BMA
- Published on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:52
- Written by Sinead Fynes Black
Responding to Stretched to the limit, the College of Emergency Medicine's survey of consultants working in emergency medicine, Dr Paul Flynn, Chair of the BMA's Consultants Committee said:
"Consultants working in emergency medicine face some of the most challenging, high pressured and stressful work environments in the NHS, often with limited resources and gruelling workloads.
"Unsurprisingly, the result has been fewer doctors choosing to go into emergency medicine and others leaving to work abroad, meaning existing consultants are working flat out to meet rising demand.
"We urgently need to look at how we can make working practices in emergency medicine safe and sustainable to address this recruitment and retention crisis.
"That's why discussions on work-life balance, out-of-hours work, job planning and protecting time for training and development will be central to upcoming contract negotiations between the BMA and NHS Employers. These issues are important to all doctors, and especially important to those working in emergency medicine given their work load and work patterns.
"The government has a responsibility to ensure patient safety and doctors' well-being are not compromised by unsafe and unsustainable working practices and the BMA will ensure they don't shirk this responsibility."