GMC surveys show workload is still compromising training


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Professional News
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Initial findings from the 2019 General Medical Council national training surveys show that most trainees continue to rate the quality of clinical training and supervision as good or very good. However, they also show that system pressures continue to affect training environments. 

Overall, almost 75 per cent of trainees rated the quality of teaching (informal and bedside teaching as well as formal and organised sessions) as good or very good. More than 88 per cent gave a similar quality rating for clinical supervision.

However, 29.2 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed that educational/training opportunities are rarely lost due to gaps in the rota, demonstrating a small drop from 33.9 per cent in 2017. More than one in four non-GP trainers disagreed with the statement that educational/training opportunities are rarely lost due to gaps in the rota. 

While 91.5 per cent of trainers said they enjoyed their role, 30 per cent said they were not always able to use allocated training time specifically for training. 

Heavy workloads remain an issue. Since 2016 the proportion of trainees who say they work beyond their rostered hours on a daily basis has halved from 18.3 per cent to 9.1 per cent. However, 45.3 per cent of doctors in training continue to work beyond their rostered/contracted hours on at least a weekly basis. More than two-thirds of trainers work beyond their contracted hours. Trainers also reported worrying work pressures, with 68.5 per cent rating the intensity of their daily work as heavy or very heavy.

Commenting on the findings, Charlie Massey, GMC Chief Executive and Registrar said that despite improvements in some areas, “there’s more for all of us to do to ensure that system pressures don’t compromise the quality of medical training or doctors’ wellbeing”.