EUWTD, White Paper and Nursing, 2020 copies

Credit: Debs Paul Photography

The Times (£) reports today that 1 in 5 junior doctors are leaving their positions after two years because of the impact of the EUWTD regulations on their training. However the full regulations have only been in place a year, which seems a little premature to make this judgement, and no comparison with say 5 or 10 years ago is given. Whilst there are serious issues around training and continuity in patient care, the latter will be present whether no matter how long a doctor is on duty as at some point they need a rest and to handover care. And a return to 100+ hours a week is in no one’s interest. Added to this, a facts they don’t mention are that by 2017 there will be more female medical graduates than male, and many women want to be able to work flexibly; and that quite honestly, if this is the stimulus to some doctors going abroad, then they will be welcomed with open arms in many countries where there is a huge deficit of medical care (and from which the NHS has absorbed thousands of staff). I don’t mean to trivialise, but I do think that in this debate we need to look both at the bigger picture and the issues such as workforce changes that will arise no matter how many hours in the working week.

Whereas the Chief Nursing Officer thinks the White Paper changes give nurses an opportunity to prove their worth, an article in the Nursing Times today focus almost entirely on nurses’ rights rather than patient care. If they spend their time backing the Unison legal challenge against White Paper changes, nurses will get what they fear – being left out of the new commissioning landscape – rather than making clear their genuine and important contribution to the development of ideas and their intrinsic value. Having informed patients, links with the local authority (that many community nurses already have), local knowledge, awareness of accountability and public health are all skills which they should be highlighting as essential to consortia as they consider who to commission services from. With the move to more healthcare delivery in the community, nurses will be at the centre of activity. Right now they should be ensuring that care in the future is organised in the best way for patients and assessing their skills to identify how they will need to adapt.

Finally, I would never claim to have been the first to use the ‘2020’ numerals in our brand-name but a PA agency recently asked me about infringement of our name and reputation. It does appear that in the Think-Tank and consultation world it’s crept in over the past couple of years here with the Midwifery Council (who talk about both the date and having ‘2020 vision’) and here with the RSA then there’s 2020plus and mocom2020 and news2020. Most are talking about the date. So I think we may just have to be patient until the year 2021 when the others will have changed their names and we can carry on casting a vision for the future!

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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