Even if the worst of Covid has passed, NHS doctors want to work remotely from their homes.
According to hospital specialists, the pandemic has demonstrated that a ‘computer on wheels’ can safely care for patients on wards.
Ministers should explore the benefits of a hybrid-working approach, according to the British Medical Association. It made the announcement following an investigation of how Boris Johnson’s government handled the pandemic situation.
The BMA acknowledged greater remote working as a ‘benefit’ of the pandemic. One-fifth of its members named remote working as one of their top three strategies for dealing with the pandemic’s long-term effects on the workforce.
Being able to be carried about practically on wards, said to one doctor who contributed in the BMA assessment, worked well for protecting consultants.
The BMA’s call for flexible working comes as No10 continues to crack down on WFH, with ministers attempting to jumpstart the commuter economy in order to enhance productivity and revitalise the country’s town and city centres.
Remote consultations, according to campaigners, increase the chance of GPs overlooking indicators of severe diseases.
This is especially true for some fragile patients, such as those with dementia, who may find it difficult to converse remotely.
“The BMA is not urging the Government to permit doctors to work from home or suggesting that all clinical work can be done remotely. The reality is that more flexible working has enabled some doctors, who would not have been able to treat patients at all during the pandemic, to continue to provide much needed assessments and care for their patients. The report is recommending that if continued use of these approaches could increase the availability of doctors – for example by enabling those with disabilities to undertake more work across the NHS – this should be seriously considered by government. To do otherwise risks excluding some doctors from the workplace and ultimately adding to the extraordinary pressures which the NHS is under.”BMA spokesperson
Working from home is presently being discouraged by No10, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson claiming that it reduces productivity since employees waste time roaming about munching and forgetting what they are doing.
Mr Johnson’s remarks follow Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-push Mogg’s to send civil employees back to their Whitehall desks and abolish the culture of working from home in government departments.
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