The Temple Report - Time for Training, was launched on 9 June 2010 and received widespread press publicity. Its conclusions and recommendations were far reaching and could have a lasting impact on how NHS organisations organise their medical workforce in the future, particularly in providing out of hours cover and addressing the continuity of safe patient care.
The review leading to the report was commissioned by the outgoing Secretary of State for Health, and was led by independent chair Professor Sir John Temple, on behalf of NHS Medical Education England (MEE). Professor Temple's remit was to examine the impact of compliance with the EU working time directive on the quality of training for doctors, dentists, healthcare scientists and pharmacists.
NHS Employers' response
In a ministerial statement about the report, Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, called for the involvement of NHS Employers in discussions to improve working practices.
Bill McMillan, head of medical pay and workforce at NHS Employers, said in his press statement: “We are pleased that the Secretary of State for Health has highlighted the role of NHS Employers in discussions on ways to realign and simplify junior doctors’ working arrangements.
“We are also pleased that many of Professor Temple’s recommendations echo the evidence that we submitted to the review on behalf of NHS organisations. We believe that employers in the service are committed to ensuring that doctors are able to work and train in a way that is safe and effective both for them and for their patients.”
The report raises some challenges for the service. As a result, some difficult decisions will need to be made but we are keen to continue working with the service, the BMA, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the government in order to:
• understand the full implications for the recommendations on training and patient care
• assess the practicalities and costs of the recommendations
• agree what the next steps should be
• ensure solutions are affordable and cost-effective.
The Report touches upon the need to re-examine the juniors contract and on the requirement for good job planning to support NHS consultants' contribution to service provision and safe patient care round the clock.
Background to the Review
Professor Temple invited NHS Employers to submit written evidence on behalf of employing organisations in the NHS, and this evidence (which supports our earlier oral evidence) is available to download and view from this web page.
Prior to the Review, some concerns had been expressed at a senior level that, following the reduction in junior doctors' working hours to 48 in August 2009, it would take longer, particularly in specialty training, to achieve the competences necessary to achieve a certificate of completion of training (CCT).
To address this issue and wider issues about the quality of junior doctor training, the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) Programme Board led a time-limited working group during 2009 on the quality of training, with NHS Employers' input. Their Final Report is available on the MMC website.