Third of doctors say their organisation is unprepared for winter

A survey from the Royal College of Physicians has found that more than a third of doctors currently feel that their organisation is not at all prepared for winter.

Following a year of immense pressure on healthcare staff, more than a quarter feel personally unprepared, and almost two thirds feeling tired or exhausted. As well as the majority feeling tired or exhausted, 36.5 per cent are demoralised and 32.5 per cent pessimistic.

The RCP is urging the government to commit to an open and transparent workforce plan that not only serves to ensure there are enough medical staff to match demand for care in the long-term, but which will also provide the hope that health care staff desperately need.

The RCP has signed a briefing, alongside the BMA and NHS Confederation, proposing an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would strengthen workforce planning by ensuring that every two years the Secretary of State must publish independently verified assessments of current and future workforce numbers consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility long-term fiscal projections. Ahead of the spending review, the RCP is also urging the government to expand the number of medical school places.

Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “There are no two ways about it - it’s an incredibly difficult time to be working in medicine. Some things, such as embracing flexible working, will help to improve morale now, while increasing the size of the workforce will ensure that in future, staff never feel as under pressure and undervalued as they do today.

“We need a commitment from government to produce regular, independent and published assessments of future workforce requirements across the NHS and social care. This will give us much-needed long-term projections of workforce needs so that enough staff are being trained up to meet those requirements.”

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