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‘Critical decision-making’ at major cancer centre left to trainees


Trainee oncologists at a major cancer centre covered clinics and made “critical” decisions without senior supervision, including for cancers they were not trained for, HSJ has revealed.

A Health Education England (HEE) reviews aid: “The review team was concerned to hear that trainees were still expected to cover clinics where no consultant was present, including clinics relating to tumour sites that they were unfamiliar with.”

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust’s trainee clinical oncologists felt “they could only approach 50–75% of the consultants for critical decision-making”, the document said.

The HEE “urgent concern review” report said: “The trainees also reported that there was a continued lack of clear consultant supervision for inpatient areas in clinical oncology, which meant that they were not able to access senior support for decision-making.”

A trust spokesman said: “We recognise that senior support to the clinical team is a vital part of keeping our patients safe.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 16 January 2020

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