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Friday, 31 July 2009

The Option 7 campaign – to improve the lives of junior doctors in Wales

BMA Cymru Wales is today launching a campaign aimed at improving the working lives of junior doctors in Wales.

It’s previously been touched upon on this blog, but we have now become extremely concerned about the working conditions of junior doctors and the impact that this could have both on careers and on patient safety. This includes;

• Lack of training opportunities
• Unsafe staffing levels
• Bullying/ intimidation
• Non-compliant rota/ rota gaps
• Insufficient locum cover

Junior doctors are understandably afraid to voice any concerns themselves with senior management, for fear of repercussions.

So that’s why BMA Cymru Wales is launching the Option 7 campaign - named after the option on a BMA phone line that juniors can select, to discuss bullying and harassment in confidence.

The on-going campaign will involve myself and BMA Welsh council chairman Dr Andrew Dearden meeting with the chairs and chief executives of the new NHS health boards in Wales.

We are hearing of some worrying cases concerning junior doctors, which seem to be more widespread than just “one-off” incidents. I do think it has got to the point where it is starting to affect the reputation of training in Wales.

It is vitally important that we get the message out there that this type of behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated, no matter what the source, either from management or clinical staff.

In the meetings with NHS health board managers (chief executives and chairs), we will be offering support to employers to resolve the problems highlighted and drawing up an action plan of;

• What exactly will be done to address the issues
• Who will take responsibility for making sure action is taken
• Setting deadlines for action and resolving problems raised in these meetings

We will also be meeting as many junior doctors as possible during the campaign.

If you are a junior doctor and wish to raise a concern with a BMA adviser the hotline number is 0300 123 123 3, then select option 7.

You can also fill out a form on the BMA website.

To get involved and show you support for our campaign, join our facebook group.

View Dr Andrew Dearden and Dr David Samuel (chairman of the BMA's Welsh Junior Doctors Committee) talking about the campaign on BMA Cymru TV.

And follow the campaign updates on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I am writing in support of Option 7-Junior Doctors BMA Campaign urging doctors, especially junior doctors to report to the BMA in strict confidentiality their concerns regarding intimidation, bullying, harassment and discrimination as well as unsatisfactory working and training conditions.

    The time has come to say enough is enough and we are not going to tolerate such practices whether you are a junior or a senior doctor. Yes, even consultants can be on the receiving end of such bad practices. As trainees, you only have one career opportunity to properly train and choose a career that will enrich your life rather than be a burden. Please take advantage of this BMA initiative and let us know what goes on or else you may inadvertently through your silence become part of the machinery that perpetuates bullying and systematises it in the NHS.


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