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BMA against new doctor grade plans


21 November, 2007  

The British Medical Association (BMA) has attacked plans to bring in a new grade of NHS doctor below the level of consultant.

The BMA said a sub-consultant grade is not necessary, will not improve the quality of care, and will not save the NHS any money.

It made the claim as it responded to the Sir John Tookes interim report on reforms to the Modernising Medical Careers system.

A BMA spokesman said the report, which looks at the current doctor training set up, suggests that a new grade of doctor is created.

These will have a specialist qualification, but not the same expertise as a consultant.

However, Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA’s Consultants Committee, said this will not help doctors or patients.

“The creation of an inferior sub-consultant grade would limit patient care and dash the hopes of young doctors striving to achieve the best,” he said.

“We should continue to enhance consultant practice for the benefit of patients without destroying ambition and hope for the future.”

Ram Moorthy, chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, added: “It makes no sense to spend public money to train doctors, and then deny them the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“This grade would dumb down quality and further frustrate junior doctors’ aspirations to excellence.”

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