Half Of Junior Doctors Have Care Quality Concerns, Says MPS

MPs Study Highlights Patient Care Concerns Among Junior Doctors


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
A significant proportion of junior doctors say they have had concerns about the quality of care in their workplace, according to new research from the Medical Protection Society (MPS).

Some 51 per cent of FY1s admitted they had been worried about the issue, with two-thirds of these reporting the matter to a fellow trainee in confidence. 

Similar results were seen in FY2 respondents, of whom 48 per cent said they had been concerned about care quality and two in three flagged it up to a clinical manager.

The study also highlighted worries about time pressure and the effect this could have on looking after patients. Almost three-quarters of FY1s surveyed claimed it was challenging to find the time needed to give patients the care they required, while just over half found it hard to manage patients with unrealistic levels of expectation.

Time management was an issue that cropped up several times in the survey. Two in three FY1s said they have not had enough time to study and nearly nine in ten revealed they are working beyond their contracted hours, while around two-fifths of FY1 and FY2s felt their job satisfaction would increase if there were more doctors on their ward.

Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, medicolegal adviser at the MPS, said it is crucial to harness the motivation and enthusiasm of junior doctors when they first enter the profession.

"It is encouraging to see that those in their second year of training feel confident to report [incidents or poor-quality care]," she commented. 

"Senior clinicians and clinical managers have a responsibility for creating an open culture and an environment where recognition and discussion of care quality issues is routine.

Dr Bradshaw added: "It is important that junior doctors are supported in their first years on the wards."

Expert Opinion
It is encouraging that junior doctors feel able to come forward and discuss their concerns over the hours they work and the amount of time they give to each patient under their care as an open culture is vital in continually improving standards in the NHS.

“It is now crucial that the NHS takes these worries into account and begins to look at actions it can take to reduce the burden on junior doctors. We hope that measures will be implemented to ensure the concerns raised by newly-qualified doctors are resolved quickly and without any negative impact on patient care.

“We have all too often seen the mistakes that can occur when junior members of staff feel pressurised and unable to complete tasks to the best of their ability, with patients and their friends and family suffering the devastating impact poor care standards can have. It is vital those new to the medical profession are given all the training and support they require to provide patients in their care with the best possible treatment.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner