Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chapter 23 - The Future of the NHS

This is a summary of chapter 23 - training for a new NHS. It was written by Professor Shelley Heard and Professor Elisabeth Paice. Professor Shelley Heard trained as a medical microbiologist. She has been a chief executive of an acute trust and for the last 10 years has been a postgraduate dean for medicine in London. She is also currently the National Clinical Advisor for the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) programme. Professor Elisabeth Paice MA FRCP She is Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for London. She developed the Hospital at Night concept and has published on stress in doctors; doctors in difficulty; workplace bullying; flexible training; and other aspects of medical careers.

They describe how medical education in the UK has an international reputation for excellence, and our own graduates are eagerly sought after by other countries. Nonetheless, there is plenty to improve about the way we train doctors, and there are powerful drivers to do things differently. Whatever else is needed to support the vision of a future better NHS, education must be right up there. It explains the recent changes in medical school training, and the new terminology, such as Modernising Medical Careers (MMC), and the new standards set by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB).

They discuss the issue of healthcare being a twenty-four hour business, but that the move to a twenty-four hour society has not produced twenty-four hour people. Night working is intrinsically stressful, error-prone and socially undesirable, and no vision of the future NHS can ignore the damaging effects of night work on its staff. The European Working Time Directive has proved a powerful driver for change to long hours, but in some cases, shortening the hours has simply resulted in excessive work intensity.
Please feel free to comment on this site or to join the debate at www.thefutureofthenhs.com

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