Posted: Fri 19th Mar 2021

BMA Cymru Wales calls for urgent recruitment and retention strategy to prevent doctors leaving the NHS in droves

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 19th, 2021


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The British Medical Association (BMA) Cymru Wales calls for urgent recruitment and retention strategy to prevent doctors leaving the NHS in droves

In a new report, BMA Cymru Wales has said that in order to resume services safely and tackle the waiting list backlog in Wales, urgent measures are needed to expand the medical workforce and retain existing staff.

A new BMA Cymru Wales survey revealed today, shows that over half of doctors who responded are planning to retire early, and over a quarter are planning to reduce their hours within the next 12 months.

In ongoing discussions with Welsh Government BMA Cymru Wales has suggested a number of actions which would begin to address the threat of doctors leaving the profession or reducing their hours which include:

Making it easier for staff to join the workforce or return to clinical practice including retired doctors, refugee doctors and international medical graduates.

Assuring doctors that they will not be penalised with large tax bills if they take on additional work to support the backlog or return to work after retirement.

The opportunity for doctors to rest and recuperate from the exhaustion of working through the pandemic.

As well as calling for measures to expand the workforce and retain existing staff, the report sets out further recommendations to all Governments across the UK to ensure that services resume safely for both staff and patients:

All governments and system leaders across the UK to have an honest conversation with the public about the need for a realistic approach to restoring non-COVID care, and support for systems to tackle the backlog.

-Health, safety, and mental wellbeing of the workforce to remain a top priority.
-Additional resourcing to help tackle the backlog.
-Measures to expand system capacity.

Dr David Bailey, BMA Cymru Wales council chair, said:

“It’s clear that the backlog has to be reduced, and our survey figures present a stark warning which cannot be ignored. Urgent action must be taken to address the fact that half of doctors responding to our latest survey are planning to retire early and over a quarter are planning to reduce their hours.

“Without an increase in capacity and a clearer focus on retention, the waiting list will continue to grow and the NHS won’t be able to return to pre-Covid levels – we will see doctors leaving in droves.

“The scale of this challenge must not be underestimated. Despite everything that the last year has thrown at them, doctors remain committed to caring for patients, but they must receive support in order to be able to provide safe care.”

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