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Conversion of on-call rest rooms raised during MacCraith process

The conversion of rest rooms previously used by on-call doctors into administration offices, and the subsequent impact on doctors’ wellbeing and safety, has been raised by trainees at the Implementation Monitoring Group (IMG) for the MacCraith report.

According to the ninth progress report on implementation of the MacCraith recommendations, covering August 2018 to January 2019, trainee delegations highlighted a range of issues demanding attention. These included trainees’ “understanding of an absence of rest facilities in the new Children’s’ Hospital”; the “frequent long-distance rotations endured by obstetrics and gynaecology trainees, which result in ongoing changes of accommodation”; and the delay in implementing the Crowe Horwath report on public health doctors. 

Trainees also said “surgical training should take place on a regional basis, rather than requiring trainees to rotate to training sites around the country” and that the “shortage of senior consultant decision-makers in emergency medicine was delaying the treatment of clients”.

Furthermore, the two-tier consultant pay system “was responsible for vacant consultant posts, the overworking of consultants currently employed, and concerns re patient safety”, according to trainees.

The report, published last month by the Department of Health, said “significant progress” had been made from 2014 to 2019 in relation to a number of issues affecting NCHDs, including the introduction of Lead NCHDs, a careers website, and online National Employment Record.

“There was also progress in relation to mentoring, family-friendly arrangements, and the consultant appointment process.” 

Four issues identified in the MacCraith process have been prioritised, namely protected training time; non-core task allocation; the reimbursement of education-related fees; and reform of service posts.

“The MacCraith Implementation Monitoring Group has undertaken significant work to progress the four areas identified as being priorities for the trainees,” according to the report. “While some areas are advancing more quickly than others, the IMG continues to engage and support the HSE as it works to implement rapidly these four key recommendations.”

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