One in 20 junior doctors working in hospitals are concerned about patient safety, according to the General Medical Council’s annual training survey.
The 2,745 junior doctors who raised concerns accounted for 5 per cent of the 52,797 doctors who completed the UK-wide survey.
The GMC said in a statement: “Every patient safety concern raised is reviewed and investigated with the local education provider and the GMC can immediately flag concerns about patient safety so that we could act, if required, before the survey closed.” A further report on these concerns is due in the autumn.
In England, 81 per cent of trainees were satisfied with their training overall, with 19 per cent rating their training as fair, poor or very poor.
Sixty five per cent rated quality of teaching as excellent or good.
About fifth of trainees described handover arrangements before or after night duty as being “informal”.
Almost 60 per cent of trainees said they worked beyond their rostered hours on a daily or weekly basis, with 23 per cent saying their working pattern left them feeling short of sleep when at work on a daily or weekly basis.
The survey was welcomed by both NHS Employers and the British Medical Association as further evidence of the need to renegotiate the junior doctors’ contract. Both organisations are in initial talks to begin negotiations later this year.
The chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee Ben Molyneux said: “Workload is still an issue for many junior doctors with one in five still in dangerous working patterns that leave them feeling short of sleep on a daily or weekly basis.
“We cannot ignore evidence that tired people are more likely to make mistakes. Weeks of long nightshifts in excess of 90 hours should be consigned to the dustbin of history.”
Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “It is really important that we get the experience right for junior doctors - this is a fundamental cornerstone of providing the best possible patient care.
“The GMC’s survey has highlighted some concerns about handovers at night and weekend. It’s clear that we need to make sure the channels of communication between staff groups are working well and we have more consultants on duty and present so care for patients is as seamless and as safe as possible, regardless of the time of day.”
Mr Royles said the results on workload also raised concerns with the numbers of those working beyond their hours providing “compelling” evidence for changes to both junior doctor and consultant contracts.
He said: “Current arrangements are clearly impacting on care and we need doctors to recognise the urgent need to change.”