Call for training to match shift in care
23 January 2013
Medical education must reflect the ‘shift left’ of services from the acute sector into the community, doctors leaders have said.
In its response to the public consultation on the Northern Ireland health shake-up TYC (Transforming Your Care), BMA Northern Ireland asks for the curriculum for trainee doctors to include more chronic disease management.
It also calls for trainee GPs to complete an extra year of training, in line with recommendations made by the Royal College of GPs.
BMA Northern Ireland council chair Paul Darragh said: ‘It is essential that this training also focuses on people management, as patients will continue to demand referrals when none is warranted.
‘GPs need to be better equipped to deal with such scenarios to ensure referrals are appropriate.’
The HSCB (Health and Social Care Board) has received more than 2,000 responses to the consultation Transforming Your Care: Vision to Action.
An HSCB spokesperson said there was no fixed date for delivering the report to health, social services and public safety minister Edwin Poots.
BMA Northern Ireland has raised concerns that the shift could lead to reduced training opportunities for junior doctors. Dr Darragh said that would adversely affect juniors’ working practice as they progressed in their careers.
He also expressed disappointment that a medical workforce plan had yet to be delivered.
‘We understand some preparation work is [under way], but it would have been much more prudent to have had the plan in place before the introduction of TYC,’ he said.
‘It is vital BMA Northern Ireland plays a full part in the engagement process of this work.’
He said doctors were willing to embrace the need to do things differently.
However, he warned that changes to healthcare delivery must be properly planned, managed and resourced, and that doctors should play a key role in this process.
He explained: ‘It is disappointing there was not greater consultation with the BMA’s various branches of practice at a much earlier stage in this process. It is our view that the level of engagement with secondary care clinicians, in particular, has been inadequate.
‘As a result, many hospital doctors do not have a clear idea of the implications of Vision to Action. This needs to be rectified through a major communications effort.’
Stressing the importance of involving doctors in developing services, Dr Darragh added: ‘Our members want to be involved in determining the needs of local communities, but we also want to inform commissioning. Decisions have hitherto been too centralised.’