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Professor Sue Mason Discusses Emergency Care on BBC Radio

Suzanne Mason, ScHARR's Professor of Emergency Medicine, appeared on BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Radio 4 yesterday, where she discussed a recent report into the pressures faced by Accident and Emergency staff at UK hospitals.

The report, published by The College of Emergency Medicine, states that increased demand and the complexity of work was causing staff sickness and burnout. The report also revealed that six out of ten of the 1000 consultants surveyed believed that their jobs were unsustainable under the current conditions, and 94% of respondents said they were regularly working more than their contracted hours. With winter approaching, there is a worry that with too few consultants across their hospitals, the NHS may find it difficult to cope with the increased demand for Accident and Emergency care. 

When asked whether the current problems are down to poor management in the NHS, Professor Mason said, "The problem is we just don't have enough doctors to go round. It would be lovely if we could have consultants staffing departments twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, but we just don't have enough at the moment. Therefore we are stretched to the limit because we are stretching ourselves and we are stretching our departments trying to provide adequate cover, when really we haven't got the numbers that we need."

Professor Mason also discussed the potential problem of trainee doctors being discouraged from going into emergency medicine, because of the demanding hours and how it will affect their work-life balance. 

Click here to listen to the full interview with BBC Radio Sheffield's Toby Foster.