Recruitment crisis putting pressure on Welsh doctors
17 November 2016, 06:37
A report by the Royal College of Physicians is warning a recruitment crisis is putting huge pressure on trainee doctors across Wales.
The research suggests there are major recruitment gaps across Wales, with 74 unfilled trainee positions at the largest hospitals in August 2016.
It's claimed 40 per cent of consultant physicians think patient safety is affected as a result.
It's also claimed the recruitment gaps are creating extra work for staff, with nine out of ten consultants saying they are forced to do jobs that would normally be done by a junior doctor.
The college also suggests morale is low, with only one in ten trainee physicians saying they enjoy their jobs and the same proportion saying they wouldn't recommend medicine as a career.
Dr Alan Rees, outgoing RCP vice president for Wales says the recruitment crisis is getting worse:
"Last year, we were unable to fill 40% of consultant physician vacancies in Wales – in most cases, this was because there were literally no applicants.
"There also aren’t enough trainees to go around, so we need to focus on recruiting more Welsh-domiciled students to train and work in Wales, and then persuading them to stay afterwards.
"We need more clinical leadership and more joined-up thinking between the NHS and the Wales Deanery."
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We will consider the report but it’s important to recognise the demand for services continues to grow.
"In order to address the challenges this poses, health boards have been working hard to recruit more staff, including consultants.
"As a result there are more frontline staff working for NHS Wales than ever before.
"We will continue to support health boards to recruit staff, including doctors, through our 'train, work, live' campaign."