A lack of training and doctor migration gives cause for concern

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Dr Ben Molyneux, recently appointed as chairman of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, has warned that changes in the NHS and the financial pressures it is facing are having a significant impact upon the quality of training which was also leading to a significant loss of junior doctors abroad.

Dr Molyneux claimed that evidence shows a number of junior doctors being denied a full training programme on a full range of specialities due to staff shortages. It has been suggested that trainee doctors have been drafted in to plug staffing gaps and that this has led to some trainee doctors having to complete two placements in the same area.

He also states that this has led to low morale and caused a number of junior doctors to leave to work abroad after their first two years of foundation training, to countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America, creating what he described as a ‘brain drain’.

It takes five to six years to train a medical student to the standard where they are ready to work in a hospital, costing the NHS around £250,000.00.

James Braund, specialist personal injury and clinical negligence solicitor at Trethowans LLP states “These concerns about lack of training in the NHS and the low morale which has resulted causing a migration trend for junior doctors away from the NHS must be addressed. Patients put their faith in doctors to treat them correctly and appropriately, a skill developed with training. There is a very real concern that mistakes, sometimes life threatening, by junior doctors will only increase unless they are provided with the full training they require and unless the flow of many of the ‘better’ junior doctors out of this country can be staunched”.