A new report from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) calls for more flexible working arrangements to help prevent doctor burnout, and to encourage more doctors to remain in the NHS.
The report ‘Less Than Full Time Training: The Trainee Perspective’ was authored by the RCPE Trainees and Members Committee and calls for less than full time (LTFT) working to be more accessible to medical trainees and consultants.
The document presents the results of a survey of more than 600 trainees, which revealed that doctors who worked LTFT are overburdened by administrative duties, proportionally more than full time colleagues.
Two thirds of trainees are considering LTFT training in the future but there is not enough information about working LTFT. The Trainees and Members Committee also says that too few trainees are involved in working pattern planning.
The latest data suggests that 15 per cent of trainees are now working LTFT, the overwhelming majority of whom are female (91%).
The main reasons for wishing to work LTFT include childcare, the pursuit of work-life balance, and to prevent burnout.
Commenting on the report, Dr Anna Olsson-Brown, Chair of the Trainees and Members Committee, said: “The group of doctors working LTFT is growing, yet we tend to know much less about them. We felt that it was important to understand the attitudes towards, and knowledge of, LTFT working. In doing so, we have highlighted the benefits and challenges of working LTFT. We hope to make this form of working more accessible to trainees and consultants in the NHS.”