Concern over trainee doctor experiences at SWAH

CAMPAIGN group Save Our Acute Services (SOAS) has called for action after figures showed SWAH’s trainee doctor satisfaction ratings were the lowest in the North, and one of the lowest in the UK.

As part of its role to improve medical education and practice, the GMC asks doctors in training to give their views on the quality of teaching they receive. The results for 1,500 health locations across the UK are published annually. The ratings – which are available for 4 of the last 5 years – show SWAH falling significantly behind.

The 2023 ‘Overall Satisfaction’ ratings ranged across Northern Ireland from a high of 79 percent (RBHSC – Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children) to a low of 55% (South West Acute Hospital). Of the 1,500 health locations rated by GMC across the UK, SWAH ranks 1,484th – placing it in the lowest 1 percent surveyed.


SOAS spokesman Donal O’Cofaigh said, “Previously our campaign team revealed that over multiple years, SWAH was sent far fewer doctors in training that any other Type 1 hospital in Northern Ireland. Now the GMC statistics reveal that those who are directed here were left dissatisfied by their experience.

“The Western Trust claims to be facing difficulties in recruiting doctors to posts, particularly at SWAH, yet year after year the results of the GMC trainee survey have been deteriorating but what has they done to improve them?

“An action plan to address the failings should have been instituted when the first red rating arose in 2019 . What specific actions were taken by the Trust management and those responsible within the Trust for postgraduate medical education to address these negative results? How can they explain the lack of improvement and indeed deterioration. Who is accountable?”

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