According to a survey by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) consultant surgeons are going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of the amount of work they are undertaking.
9 Out Of 10 Surgeons Providing 24hour Cover
90% of consultant surgeons were on call for emergencies over weekends and evenings essentially providing 24hour cover. 70% said they were performing elective surgeries on top of their normal emergency surgeries and 40% said they regularly go over the prescribed limit of 10 different programs at any one time.
What’s more 72% of the 6888 consultant surgeons surveyed are now exceeding the maximum 48hour working week as recommended by the EU.
The dedicated surgeons who must be making huge personal sacrifices to meet the demands of the NHS must be commended for their efforts. The survey demonstrates their huge commitment and it is also reassuring to know that consultant surgeons are used wherever possible to ensure patients receive the highest standard of expertise in the operating theatre.
Workload Of Surgeons Is ‘Concerning’ Says RCS
Yet according to RCS chairman John Black it is ‘a matter of concern’ that so many surgeons are expected to undertake elective operations while on call as this can sometimes delay them in attending emergency operations. This is due to the obvious practical issue of being unable to be in two places at once.
Mr. Black described the issue as a ‘significant barrier to improving emergency surgery in the UK’. Substantial restructuring then must be considered in order to both lighten the load of hardworking surgeons and also to ensure emergency operations are performed on time and as safely as possible.
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