BMA warns fast-track training must not compromise care

Author: Mark Gould

The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that patient care must not be compromised with fast-track training courses. Now that the UK has left the European Union (EU), the government plans to create more flexible training courses to fast-track healthcare professionals to train as doctors and nurses. Reports have suggested that pharmacists and paramedics could be retrained as doctors via a three-year course.

British Medical Association (BMA) council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “We are desperately short of doctors in the UK and it’s important that the government works with the BMA to find a solution to this.

"We are absolutely clear that there is no safe substitute for the current five-year undergraduate or four-year graduate entry medical curriculum for those students wanting to become our doctors of the future.

“This training time is hugely important in developing confident and highly capable doctors given the complex and life-changing decisions they make, often in highly pressurised situations. New doctors tell us that it is not possible to acquire the knowledge and skills any more quickly; shorter courses will not achieve what patients deserve.

“The government say that leaving the EU means we can train doctors more quickly. We believe that training doctors in less time than we do now will compromise their education and reduce the quality and comprehensiveness of patient care. “

The BMA says it will work with the government to reduce the impact of Brexit on health services but it is vital that whoever is providing treatment as a medical professional has the right knowledge, skillset, and experience so that citizens of the UK do not receive poorer standards of care compared to those in other European nations.