Junior Doctors


Two years ago Lauren Connelly, a junior doctor working at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, tragically lost her life in a fatal car accident.



She was driving home after an arduous 12-hour night shift.

Her father Brian Connelly believes she was suffering from fatigue which had built up over the previous month-and-a-half as a result of gruelling back-to-back shifts.

His view was reinforced in a survey conducted by the General Medical Council earlier in the year which found that nearly 20 per cent of junior doctors were short of sleep because of their shift patterns.

However, it would appear that this issue has still not been fully addressed.

According to an investigation many junior doctors are still working more than 90 hours a week or more.

Indeed, a document published by NHS Education for Scotland, which was apparently written by junior doctors, told medical graduates starting work in Scottish hospitals, ‘be prepared to be exhausted for your first month working. You will work, eat (little) and sleep – that is it’.

This is not the only symptom which shows that all is not well with our NHS.

The Royal College of Nursing recently said that that over half of nurses are working more than their contracted hours each week so that they can meet demand, with 58 per cent saying they are under too much pressure.

The strain on our NHS was also reinforced in the latest inspection report produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland which said that staff were feeling demotivated and having difficulty in meeting the care needs of elderly patients.

Last year Audit Scotland put our National Health Service on an Amber Warning. But it seems that our NHS will soon be in the red if the latest developments are anything to go by.