Letter: Why junior doctors are still overworked

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The Independent Online
Sir: Judy Jones ('Just what the junior doctor ordered', 28 April) misrepresents the role of the medical royal colleges in the current changes in the patterns of training and work of junior doctors. To portray them as peopled by a bunch of Sir Lancelot Spratts, guarding privilege and the status quo, is a travesty.

The royal colleges have been very active in efforts to reduce hours of work by junior doctors and the delays that have occurred have been caused by the lack of extra finance needed to ensure that this reduction in hours is not accompanied by a fall in standards of patient care. This is the prime responsibility of the colleges, rather than the terms and conditions of service for doctors which are within the remit of the British Medical Association.

The same is true of the overlong time taken to become a consultant, not because of edicts from a conservative, self- interested medical establishment, rather that money has not been forthcoming to fund those extra consultant posts that the country so desperately needs and which fully trained doctors are waiting to fill.

It is important for your readers to realise that the medical royal colleges are bulwarks supporting the preservation of proper standards of care, and indeed the very health service itself.

Yours sincerely,

D. R. LONDON

Registrar

Royal College of Physicians

London, NW1

29 April

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