Patients 'at risk because of doctors' unmanageable workload'

Patients 'at risk because of doctors' unmanageable workload'

NHS patients are being put at risk because the doctors treating them are so overworked, a new report has warned.

Research undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) conducted a survey of 2,800 medical registrars and found that more than one-third (37 per cent) describe their workload as "unmanageable". In addition, another five per cent said theirs is "heavy".

A registrar is a doctor one level below a consultant and these provide the vast majority of overnight and weekend care. Of the 21,000 doctors in hospitals across the UK, around 6,500 are registrars.

The RCP has described their workload as being at "crisis point", commenting that registrars are the "unsung heroes" of hospital care.

Dr Andrew Goddard, the director of the RCP's medical workforce unit, said: "The NHS will soon struggle to provide the best care for patients if this situation is not urgently reviewed."

The organisation also suggested there is a "worrying" correlation between the number of consultants present in a hospital and its mortality rate. There are also variations in consultant numbers in certain areas of the country, with London having twice as many per head of population than the East Midlands.

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