In response to the publication of the Academy of Medical Royal College’s report into winter pressures on junior doctors, Dr Anna Olsson-Brown, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s Trainees Committee said:

“Winter pressures are an increasingly concerning feature on the medical landscape with the situation worsening year on year. These pressures and the lack of tangible, advanced plans pose a grave risk to patient safety and most certainly need addressing.’’

“The suggested redeployment of junior doctors to areas of pressure may go some way to creating the extra workforce this period requires. However lifting  trainees out of their normal team and environment, and placing them temporarily elsewhere needs careful thought. The recommendations released alongside the plan for redeployment must be conscientiously implemented as if not there with be major implications for both the junior doctors in question, their supervising colleagues and, of course, patients. It is clear that planning for winter pressures at this point is far from ideal. Planning for next year’s  winter should begin now and have a clear strategy for effective implementation to prevent a similar situation in years to come.”

“Junior doctors must be given a clear process of escalation if they are concerned about a patient, and there should be a plan for how trainees can report their circumstances if they do not feel that adequate support is in place. All the while, there must be a focus on maintaining education and training for our junior doctors. Without these measures, patient safety will be put at risk, and junior doctors may become isolated, practising without adequate support.”