Home » Uncategorized » Doctors' hours and research: the space-time continuum

Doctors' hours and research: the space-time continuum

Welcome

Thanks for visiting my blog. I am Chair of INVOLVE - the UK's national advisory group on public involvement - and NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research. I was CEO at the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) from 2006 until 2011. My full profile can be found on the 'Biography' page. The views on here are all personal ones unless otherwise stated. I hope you enjoy some of the things I write and/or find a useful link or two along the way.

Yesterday I spoke at a meeting of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).  There was an outstanding presentation before mine by Kate Baker, a young academic paediatrician, about what inspired her to go into research.  She talked about the importance of charismatic role models in attracting young doctors to science.  But also highlighted the importance of doctors being given time and money (and not necesarily a lot!) to pursue research.   And it is not just at the beginning of their career but further along too, I learnt.

Today the normally mild-mannered Royal College of Physicians took a potshot with its blunberbuss at the increasing pressures on the NHS that would be caused by the growing demand for its services and the lack of a strong consultant workforce to help cope with this challenge. 

But more pertinent still was the BMA statement also today about pressurised NHS organisations squeezing the amount of support they give to doctors to pursue what are known as professional activities not directly related to clinical care (what they call SPA time) including research. 

The BMA has produced an excellent booklet called ‘Quality Time’ which gives a host of examples of how doctors have used this time to improve services, for research, and to improve the knowledge and understanding of colleagues and patients.  I particularly liked this quote:

‘One of the problems with decreasing consultants’ SPA time is that they won’t have time to innovate.’

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: