From a “first” to number 10…
Adrian Boyle, President, March 22, 2023
Last week saw the unprecedented walk out by postgraduate doctors training in England for 72 continuous hours. Like many of my Consultant colleagues, I was apprehensive about what this might mean for our patients. Alongside my Consultant colleagues, I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck in. Many of us were grateful for our diverse workforce of SAS and ACP clinicians. Largely we coped, though the bill for time off in lieu or money will be eye watering. I must confess that referring patients to other Consultants made life considerably easier, I don’t miss the viva from an inpatient team’s FY2. Predictably, the rebound after the strike was much more difficult. I hope many of us are looking at what learning we could take from this ‘natural experiment’. Unlike many specialties, we didn’t need any particular refreshers in how to work in the emergency department, and this reassures me that our training is fit for purpose. The announcement yesterday of an escalated four day strike will make many of us, at any grade, anxious for how we keep our patients safe. We must hope that this can be averted, while planning for the worst.
I chaired a busy Council meeting, covering subjects as diverse as Remote and Rural EDs, Green EDs, Crowding, Metrics and exams.
Many of you will be relieved by the announcement of pension changes, removing the lifetime allowance threshold in the recent budget. This is a move that the BMA has campaigned for many years, but we have had this as a policy objective for several years. I hope this will help retain the more experienced workforce.
On Tuesday, Ian Higginson and I were invited to meet Rishi Sunak’s Health Advisor at Downing Street. We continue to press for meaningful and transparent metrics, and everyone will be watching progress against NHSE’s recovery plan with interest. In April, NHSE will publish 12 hour (from arrival) length of stay data routinely alongside all performance statistics. This has been the result of extraordinary lobbying by the RCEM Policy Team and should help drive improvements.
Dr Adrian Boyle PRCEM