Patient safety at risk due to trainee recruitment crisis

Analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) has found that training places across three in four medical specialties were unfilled last year.

With shortfalls being experienced year on year, the BMA says that the shortages facing most medical specialties could put patient safety at risk.

Training posts proving particularly hard to fill include sexual health, allergy and haematology as well as well-known specialties in emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Moreover, the BMA claim that applications to medical schools have dropped for the third year running, with the number of students applying for places in the UK dropping by 16 per cent from 2,050 in 2016 to 1,720 in 2017.

Chaand Nagpaul, BMA councils chair, said: “We have to ask why people who have spent many years training to become doctors are deciding not to continue in the profession. We know that doctors are struggling with unsustainable workloads in an NHS that is understaffed and chronically underfunded. This has a huge impact on their morale and well-being, often leading to stress and burnout.”

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