It has become a fact of medical life that leave can no longer be taken when you want it, but must fit into the rigid rota systems now commonplace. There is no longer the flexibility in staffing numbers to accommodate more than a couple of people in a team being away at once, partly because the European Working Time Directive means that working longer hours is now considered a sin.  What it does in terms of patient care continuity and safety is something for another day…

I recently learned a new management trick played on unsuspecting trainees.  Their posts rotate, and are of short duration at the start of their training. To fit all the holidays in it’s necessary for some of them to be allocated slots right at the start of a new rotation.  However – it is also necessary for them to undergo hospital induction (to learn about form-filling, health and safety and the vagaries of senior colleagues to name but three).

 So – you have a compulsory three day induction, but discover that your compulsory leave slot is in the first week of the job. It appears that induction is more compulsory than leave.  If that’s not an oxymoron then I don’t know what is.


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