Regulators have uncovered multiple examples of patients being put at risk when junior doctors are left with tasks they are not trained for, lacking support, and facing bullying and inappropriate behaviour.
Inspection teams have had to intervene – in some cases contacting senior trust staff – to ensure urgent issues are addressed, after the inspections.
Health Education England oversees training nationally, which includes making the checks at trusts which have been put under “enhanced monitoring” by the professional regulator, the General Medical Council, because of concerns from trainees.
HSJ has obtained and examined 20 reports, all produced since the beginning of 2019. Themes running through the reports included:
Lack of support from consultants.
Trainees struggled to contact consultants out of hours.
Bullying and inappropriate behaviour was reported at several trusts.
Inspectors found a reluctance to report concerns and/or a lack of knowledge of how to do it.
Teaching was often of poor quality or cancelled – and sometimes trainees struggled to attend sessions because of how their shifts and rotations were scheduled.
Trainees in several trusts reported IT problems, such as being locked out of systems so being unable to access clinical notes and blood tests, and IT systems taking up to 30 minutes to start up, sometimes delaying patient care.
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Source: HSJ, 29 June 2020