New scheme to cut ‘black Wednesday’ deaths announced
Last Wednesday, an estimated 7,000 junior doctors arrived at hospitals to start their new jobs, fresh out of medical school.Research suggests that death rates rise by an average of 6% in English hospitals on this day.It is regarded as being the most dangerous day of the year to fall ill, reports David Crabtree, Midlands Correspondent, Sky.com
Now a new scheme, which will be mandatory from next year, is set to improve patient safety.All young medics will spend a minimum of four days in a shadowing role before taking up their posts.
It was the idea of Dr Rebecca Aspinall, of University Hospitals, Bristol, who said: "I have reduced quite significantly - I would say by 50% - the near misses, the close shaves and the mistakes that new doctors might make.
"It is never going to be massively significant because there are so many senior doctors keeping an eye on them but we have certainly improved safety."
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said: "There is some evidence of increased risk to patients as new doctors take their first steps.
"So, learning from pilots across the country, we've agreed that all new first-year doctors should undertake a period of paid shadowing at the end of July, starting this year."
Trials in Bristol showed that mistakes made by new doctors in their first four months were reduced by more than 50% after a week of shadowing and targeted teaching.
A recent survey of 51,000 junior doctors by the General Medical Council found that one in seven felt they had to deal with medical problems beyond their competence and experience.
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