Launching its manifesto in
Given the projected reduction in the number of training posts that will be available in
Presently five per cent of medical students trained in
Dr Brian Keighley, chair, of the BMA in
“We have the freedom of movement from Europe which is distorting the picture, and we know that England and Wales are now much more sufficient, and so while we have a great tradition of producing high quality doctors and exporting them all over the commonwealth, those opportunities are now less and I think we have to look to make sure we are not overtraining in terms of the waste of money and the waste of effort of the very high quality graduates that we attract into medicine.”
While they have assurances that things will “come right” this year, Keighley stressed that there had been enough warnings of a looming problem, adding: “Unless we take action now, in two or three years time we might have a lot of egg on our face.”
The manifesto also raises the issue of potential hospital closures. On the issue of service reconfiguration it states: “The NHS must do all it can to provide patients with an efficient and comprehensive service. Nevertheless, it is likely that pressures on NHS Boards, including financial and staffing constraints, will drive the need to consider secondary care hospital reconfiguration. This could include hospital closure or downgrading to protect patient safety and maintain service viability.”
63 per cent of consultants believe that quality of care could be improved by reconfiguring hospital services to provide inpatient services on fewer sites, it further states.
Keighley called for an honest debate on this issue during the election campaign.
“From my perspective I think we have to realise that the sophistication of the service that is given with the attendant problems of providing trained staff at every site, you realise that maybe there has to be some rationalisation and every service can’t be provided on every site. We appreciate that is very difficult for politicians when they are talking to their own constituents, but I think we’ve got to base these decisions on clinical evidence and rational decisions.”
The BMA’s ‘Priorities for Health’ manifesto is available here: http://www.bma.org.uk/sc/lobbying_campaigning/scottish_parliament/bmascotlandmanifestofor2011elections.jsp
Dr Brian Keighley further outlines his priorities in an article penned for Holyrood magazine here: http://www.holyrood.com/daily/2010/11/11/335-brian-keighley-doctors-want-to-become-part-of-the-solution