President of the British Association of Dermatologists, Professor Chris Bunker's response to the Future Hospital Commission report
While we warmly welcome the overall message of the report, we take exception to the recommendation that participation in general medicine will be mandatory for those training in all medical specialties. We recognise the crisis facing hospital services generally, however a viable solution should not be one that undermines the work of individual departments. Also it is imperative that training the right number of specialists with the right skills in the right place is a protected priority, and that the effectiveness of this training is not diluted to fight fires in other areas of hospital services.
In many specialties, trainees provide a large part of the service. Dermatology training is already challenged by the needs of paediatrics and surgery. Forcing Dermatology and other specialty trainees to fill the gaps in general medicine denies specialist patients of the care they require. Furthermore, these trainees may not have maintained the required level of skills to serve the needs of general medical patients. We cannot support this aspect of an otherwise laudable report that will not only be deleterious to specialty training and patient care in Dermatology, but may also have minimal impact on the crisis in the acute setting.