RCPsych responds to independent report into the wellbeing of doctors

Statement / comment
14 November 2019

The General Medical Council (GMC) has published independent findings from a UK-wide review into the wellbeing of doctors and medical students, led by Professor Michael West and Dame Denise Coia.

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We share the General Medical Council’s concerns about the impact of excessive workloads on staff wellbeing and patient safety. Our recent workforce census showed that one in 10 consultant psychiatrist posts are unfilled and that this has doubled in the last six years. Too few doctors means more stress and burnout which is likely to mean more doctors leaving the profession, creating a vicious circle for the NHS.

“Practical solutions to support the wellbeing and mental health of doctors are urgently needed. Simple changes, like improving access to hot food and adequate rest facilities, could make a massive difference to staff wellbeing.

“However we also need to address structural issues, like the pensions crisis and the need to train more doctors, to help reduce the overall pressures on the workforce. To this end we are calling for the Government to double the number of medical schools places in England to 15,000 by 2029 and to allocate those places to schools that have specific plans in place to address the issue of shortage-hit specialties like psychiatry.”

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