Nightmare Before Christmas 2: Some junior doctors’ training possibly maybe postponed till after Christmas rush


In the Herald today:

‘Professor Jackie Taylor, the newly-appointed president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, said she was aware of situations where NHS bosses have extended the training period for junior doctors so that they can be sent to busy departments, such as A&E, as part of health board plans to cope with winter.’

Hmmm, in that headline, should the apostrophe be before or after the ‘s’ in ‘doctors?’ Prof Taylor, convenor of a posh trades union’s Glasgow branch, ‘is aware of situations’ and that’s the basis for:

‘Top medic warns junior doctors’ training in jeopardy as hospitals battle winter pressures’

Really? Is the convenor of a trades-union branch a leading medic? Wouldn’t a leading medic be far too busy researching or implementing the latest methods to be bothered with local branch meetings? Just how many individuals have had their training extended?

To what extent are these extensions really damaging to a career to the extent of it being in jeopardy?

Are other medics being redeployed to busy departments any less so than these staff? Are these junior medics learning something useful as they share in the typical experience of more experienced colleagues?

Finally, returning to the headline, are hospitals really ‘battling winter pressures’ as we experience mostly frost-free nights and no major flu outbreak as yet. A&E waiting times are marginally up in December but there is no other objective measure of severe problems being reported.

Is this an even minimally credible story?

If our NoMedia had anything substantial to go on, we’d know all about it. Hey, let’s look over the border. Maybe a crisis this way comes?



14 thoughts on “Nightmare Before Christmas 2: Some junior doctors’ training possibly maybe postponed till after Christmas rush

  1. Legerwood December 24, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    “”Really? Is the convenor of a trades-union branch a leading medic?””

    Yes is the short answer to that question. The title ‘Professor’ before her name is an indication that she has reached a certain level of expertise in whichever branch she practices medicine. Being elected President of the RCPSG is another indication of her standing in the Medical fraternity. Furthermore to describe the RCPSG as a ‘union branch’s is way wide of the mark and a disservice to the role of the RCPSG in the postgraduate education and training of doctors and dentists in the West of Scotland and many places beyond these shores.

    Those comments detract from your dissection of the article and are an unnecessary. .

    Otherwise your criticism of the piece- its lack of specific detail etc – echoes what I thought when I read it this morning.

    The term ‘junior doctors’ includes all doctors below consultant level but for most people seeing the term would immediately think: newly graduated, and being thrown in over their heads. The mention of Foundation years training within the article may reinforce this impression. There may be an issue here but the article certainly does nothing to shed any light on it or the extent of it.


    • johnrobertson834 December 24, 2018 / 1:53 pm

      The title professor is often, these days, awarded to managers and others with no research profile to justify it.


      • Legerwood December 24, 2018 / 4:16 pm

        Dr Jackie Taylor MB ChB, FRCP graduated from the University of Glasgow medical school, trained and dually accredited in General Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine and was appointed to her current consultant post in Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 1997. She is a full time clinician with a sub-specialty interest in heart failure. From a managerial perspective, she has been Clinical Director, Associate Medical Director and Clinical Quality Lead in Geriatric Medicine. Dr Taylor has a major interest in training and education of healthcare professionals. She is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer. She is the Chair of the British Geriatrics Society Cardiovascular Section which plays an important role in education. Dr Taylor’s other main professional roles have been as Vice President Medical and Honorary Secretary of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. [From RCPSG web site]

        Most definitely not some kind of ‘manager or admint type but as might be expected by someone who has been elected to lead a Royal College she has a solid background in medicine.

        The RCPSG refers to her as Dr Taylor so the ‘Professor’ title may have been awarded by the media.


      • Legerwood December 24, 2018 / 4:30 pm

        It is an honorary professorship awarded by the University of Glasgow


    • johnrobertson834 December 24, 2018 / 1:56 pm

      Royal Colleges, in their actions have much in common with trades unions.


      • Legerwood December 24, 2018 / 4:28 pm

        What actions would they be? Do the Royal Colleges negotiate pay and conditions, call for strike action?

        The BMA is the trade union body for medics across the UK. The Royal Colleges have an important role in post-graduate training, CPD and professional postgraduate examinations as well as in advising/consulting on healthcare policy etc.


      • Robert Innes December 26, 2018 / 4:32 pm

        I understood that the Royal College of Nursing acted very much as a “trade union” on behalf of its members. It certainly is very vocal where nurses’ pay and conditions are concerned, and particularly so where a dig can be got in against the SNP. Its spokespersons feature in many TV news items to that effect. To my mind very pro-Labour in many of its positions.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Anderson December 24, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you John for providing a great and helpful blog for the Yes movement.

    Hopefully 2019 will see the Union crumble a bit more and the Brexit bonus to our cause continue to give.

    Thanks and compliments of the season

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Toni Young December 24, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    I very rarely comment, I come to this blog for accurate information. Thank you for your huge effort throughout the year to keep us informed and amused.

    Best wishes of the season and for 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Scott December 24, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    A very Merry Christmas to you John and thanks for all the work you put in and the honest articles.

    Liked by 1 person

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