Colleges work to improve the “med reg” role
Authors: Abi Rimmer
Publication date: 01 Mar 2018
The three UK colleges of physicians have introduced a set of criteria to improve the working lives of medical registrars.
The medical registrar role has long been perceived as one of the most difficult jobs in hospitals because of the level of responsibility for managing acute patients, especially at nights and weekends.
In light of these concerns, as well as concerns about rota gaps and falling recruitment, the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (JRCPTB) has launched a set of 20 quality criteria aimed at improving the role.
The criteria, which cover general internal medicine registrars and acute internal medicine registrars, set out standards that the colleges expect hospitals to meet. They include ensuring that trainees have easy access to private workstations, appropriate rest periods, and access to food and drink facilities.
David Black, medical director of the joint board, said, “We know that coming into the medical registrar job is tough and it can be extremely challenging.
“But we recognise that there is more that hospitals can do to support their medical registrars and the feedback we get is that if you have a supportive clinical, educational, and functional environment, people will cope better with these difficult jobs.”
He said that trainees drove the development of the criteria after the college successfully introduced quality criteria for core medical trainees (CMT) in 2015. “It came from trainees who said, “We need to do something about this. They challenged us to do it,” Black said.
While the CMT criteria focused on education, the criteria for medical registrars cover the working environment more broadly. “We recognise that the employment environment, as well as the educational environment, is having an impact on morale and the effectiveness of being a medical registrar,” Black said.
He added, “If every hospital pursued this, they would make the working lives of medical registrars better.”
Black said that other stakeholders included NHS Employers, NHS Improvement, NHS England, and UK education providers. “I think this shows that the people at the top of those organisations realise how important it is to get it right for the medical registrar,” he said.
- Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board. Quality criteria for GIM/AIM. [Link] .
Abi Rimmer The BMJ