Junior Doctors are under pressure – Can hospitals work smarter to ensure better working conditions and standards of care?

If there was any doubt about how much pressure the UK’s junior doctors are under, then the recently released results of the GMC’s national training survey, combined with a recent ruling in the Court of Appeal should serve as a sobering reminder of the stresses placed on the very people tasked to keep us alive.

Yes, sadly despite several years of promises that things will get better, the latest survey findings are a depressing read: inflexible rotas imposed at short notice; workloads preventing training and development; poor rest facilities and heavy working hours.

The solutions promised by consecutive health ministers appear to be failing, so perhaps it’s time to think outside the box

In primary care, we’ve begun to see the beginnings of change in the way GPs work with patients, with video consulting and flexible working encouraged by government – in fact, GPs will be obliged to provide remote / video consultations from 2020.

Is it beyond the realms of possibility to expect something similar in the hospital ward?

Think about it for a moment: when cloud telephony can enable diagnoses by high-definition video, and can bring subject experts to be put in contact with patient remotely, is there the need for doctors to tour the wards just once every 24hrs? Or for patients to always travel to a hospital appointment. Why not afford some flexibility to get the right people in the right place at the right time?

Don’t just take our word for it.

This isn’t just pie in the sky thinking, St Barts, in conjunction with the University of Oxford and a number of CCGs are exploring just this kind of activity with hospital outpatients citing:

“Traditional models of outpatient care are not always aligned to the needs of patients and can be difficult for them to access, leading to high rates of non-attendance at appointments and poor patient engagement, resulting in poor health outcomes and greater use of emergency care, plus rising costs.

Research has shown that using remote video outpatient consultations rather than face-to-face review with patients in hospital has the potential to address some of these.

Find out more about how our cloud communications solutions can help your team work more flexibly, whatever sector you work in.

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