Please consider taking part in this study into fatigue in healthcare shift work. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a personal code.
Happy New Year to you all! Following feedback from the EMTA Conference in November, throughout this year we will be running monthly updates to keep you up to date with what we’re doing, both through our participation in committees at the RCEM and our involvement with the wider medical community. This will be circulated in the EMJ supplement, via our Facebook page, and the blog section of the EMTA website.
This month Jon Bailey attended the RCEM Council meeting. Winter is usually a busy time for us across the country, but attendances to EDs have been very slightly down year on year from October through to December, with a particular dip noted in the week between Christmas and the New Year. Nonetheless, the workload now appears to be picking up again and over the last two weeks we have seen performance drop below last years’ levels.
EMTA, and our opposite number for non-training doctors, FASSGEM, both held conferences in November last year with excellent feedback. Moving forward, we are planning to deliver more events suitable for members of both groups, and plan to host a combined FASSGEM and EMTA Conference in Southampton in November 2017.
The 2015 EMTA conference sold out several weeks before the conference itself, and therefore this year, we will be using a bigger venue to accommodate more of you! True to our promise to move out of London, we are aiming to run this year’s conference in Edinburgh in July, and we hope to be able to confirm the venue for you next month, in plenty of time to book study leave. There will once again be an opportunity to submit abstracts for poster and oral presentations, and a host of top class speakers.
New EMTA Positions
We are looking for an enthusiastic DRE-EM trainee, and an enthusiastic Paediatric Emergency Medicine Subspecialist to join EMTA. The first is a new position, whilst the second will take over from Claire Kirby, who is soon to become a consultant. If you are interested in these positions, please get in touch via email@example.com for more details.
New RCEM President
As many of you will already be aware, Dr Cliff Mann will be stepping down as President of the College this summer as his term comes to an end this year. Fellows of the College are able to nominate and second candidates for the post, with nominations due to close on 5th February.
New ACCS Website
The aged ACCS UK website, which had remained unchanged since the 2007 curriculum update, has finally been taken down and replaced with a new site maintained by the RCOA. It can be found here: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/accs If you have any feedback on the site, or if you come across any links directing you to the old site, please contact the RCOA via firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know!
Finally, it has come to our attention via the Academy Trainee Doctors’ Group that trainees in both O&G and Paediatrics have in the last few months had access to their ePortfolios granted by courts, and that the contents of ePortfolios have been used as evidence that has changed the outcomes of legal trials. We have raised concerns over the obvious conflicts between our requirement to reflect on our practice as part of our training, and the potential for such private thoughts to be used against trainees in the event of case proceeding to trial. This problem does not end with training of course, as similar reflective practice is used during revalidation at consultant level.
As this matter will affect trainees across all specialties, we have asked that the matter be discussed at the next meeting of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to provide some guidance on the matter.
Until such guidance is forthcoming, please remember the ePortfolio is not a legally privileged document, and therefore whatever is documented therein can be used as evidence in court.
The new examination structure, which was previously proposed and subsequently delayed following challenges from the GMC, has now been approved.
Details of the examinations can now be found on the RCEM website here: http://www.rcem.ac.uk/Training-Exams/Exams
If you have any comments to make on the exams, please let us know!
Dr Johann Malawana has been elected as Chair of the BMA Junior Doctors' Committee, following the end of term for both Dr Andrew Collier and Dr Kitty Mohan.
The BMA will now ballot Junior Doctors on strike action in England.
To date, there has been no public statement from the Department of Health or NHS Employers expressing a willingness to negotiate on all elements of the contract without preconditions such as were offered to the BMA when the BMA withdrew from negotiations.
The following statement was taken from the BBC, at 1820 26/09/2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34370980
The Department of Health released the following statement almost immediately following the election of Dr Malawana. The statement makes reference to a formal offer, but does not allude to the restricted terms of negotiation offered to the BMA.
Take a look at the text of the BMA webchat here: https://communities.bma.org.uk/my_working_life/p/contract_webchat
A plan of action should be forthcoming from them this week.
As many of you will be aware, the BMA have been in negotiations with the government following the publication of recommendations by the DDRB on Doctors' normal working hours and pay scales. They recently made the decision not to return to negotiations, and have outlined their reasoning for this:
BMA Press release from Thursday 13th August: http://bit.ly/1KjmIHt
10 reasons why we said no: http://bit.ly/1ffjITD
Other resources about contract negotiations/ DDRB report: http://bit.ly/1Ja5LCH
The EMTA position on the DDRB can be found in this blog, and I welcome any feedback or comment on the document. The RCEM supports the statement, and the College are working hard on behalf of our speciality as you would expect.
The BMA are holding a web chat tonight, Monday 17/8/2015 between 1900-2000hrs, and I would encourage as many of you as possible to participate. Please check here for more information: https://communities.bma.org.uk/my_working_life/
Dr Jon Bailey
Academic Clinical Fellow in Emergency Medicine
This year saw record recruitment to Emergency Medicine, reversing a trend of declining numbers at all levels of training in recent years. This was in part thanks to a sustained and effective campaign by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
The DDRB has proposed fundamental changes to the way in which trainee doctors are paid. These changes will significantly impact all those whose job involves a considerable proportion of work outside of the normal working day, particularly trainees in Emergency Medicine.
Current estimates suggest that an EM trainee in a post banded 1a (almost all EM trainees) would suffer a pay cut of between 12 - 16% if this review is implemented. This fundamental disincentive to work in EM would undo the good work that has been done in improving recruitment and retention in EM over the last few years and is completely contrary to the message the RCEM has been promoting as part of its STEP campaign, and is extremely damaging to EM as a speciality.
The BMA has recently announced that it will not return to negotiations for a new contract for junior doctors.
It is the position of the EMTA Committee that the DDRB recommendations have nothing to do with improvement to service delivery or patient care; they are entirely to do with reducing the cost of the NHS wage bill. Doctors are being used as scapegoats: a sustained media campaign to reduce public support of doctors and to portray our profession as lazy and overpaid, together with misrepresented research aimed to instill fear in the general public, have been used to reduce our bargaining position in pay negotiations. By forcing change on doctors as the leadership of the NHS, the government will strengthen its hand in forcing similar degradation in working conditions on all other members of the NHS. The government recognises that in the public forum, nurses’ pay and conditions are untouchable. By driving a change in working hours through for doctors, they pave the way for forcing the same on all other Agenda for Change Staff, under the guise of fairness – when in fact it is anything but.