Dr Chris Roseveare comments on an article in today’s Telegraph (13.12.11) which highlights research which found junior doctors feel ill-prepared to manage acutely unwell patients.
Dr Roseveare says: ‘This is yet more evidence of the need to provide adequate support and supervision for newly qualified doctors, 7 days per week. Recognition and management of acutely unwell patients is complex and requires experience. Ten years ago the majority of emergency care would have been provided by very junior doctors. The development of the speciality of acute medicine means that patients admitted to hospital as emergencies should expect to be seen by a consultant soon after their arrival on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU). There is evidence that patients admitted at weekends are more unwell than those admitted on weekdays. Acutely unwell patients deserve the best quality care, provided by experienced doctors, 7 days per week.’