RESULTS REVEALED: Chief executive of WBHHS Adrian Pennington  said the survey results were a step up on previous years.
RESULTS REVEALED: Chief executive of WBHHS Adrian Pennington said the survey results were a step up on previous years. Katie Hall

Revealed: Wide Bay junior doctors make their voices heard

JUNIOR doctors have rated Wide Bay Health and Hospital Services as one of the best employers to work for in Queensland, survey results have revealed.

An overall report card score of B- was recorded in the Australian Medical Association Queensland's annual junior doctor public hospital report card, released yesterday.

The 2018 Resident Hospital Health Check surveyed 615 junior doctors in the state, with WBHHS coming in second behind North West HHS - which scored a B+.

Gold Coast HHS, Lady Cilento Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hopsital received marks in the Ds.

Chief executive of WBHHS Adrian Pennington said the results were a win for the region's junior doctors. "It's a very positive report for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service,” Mr Pennington said.

"We've made a lot of progress over the past 12 months and we're pleased with the direction we're travelling in.

"Before, we were in the lower pack and weren't particularly proud of that - but for the overall results (this year), we've only been beaten by one other HHS.”

The junior doctors scored their access to annual leave as A+, career progression and development as C, and wellbeing and workplace culture as C.

Reports of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment was also rated a C - and hours of work and overtime was A-.

The report showed improvements on last year's results - with AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training executive committee member Dr Bav Manoharan pleased with the results.

"... the 2018 RHHC revealed 79 per cent of junior doctors reported that they received adequate breaks between shifts, compared with 75 per cent in 2017,” Dr Manoharan said.

"80 per cent were satisfied their leave compared with 71 per cent last year.”

Mr Pennington said the survey results were the outcome of regular surveys with doctors in the last year, and responding to areas "where we need to improve”.

Despite the improved results, Dr Manoharan said there were some areas of concern - with more than a third of junior doctors reporting instances of bullying.

More than 50 per cent also felt concerned there would be negative consequences for them if they spoke out.

When asked if Mr Pennington thought there was a toxic culture in hospitals in the state, he said he didn't believe so.

He said the introduction of regular surveys would improve the rate of feedback, and allow WBHHS to respond to complaints faster.

"... with any survey, and the results for this (bullying claims) was not fantastic I have to say in all honesty, it would be great to say 100 per cent of junior doctors contributed to this ... but you tend to get opposite spectrums,” he said.

"On the negative side sometimes you have people who haven't done so well and that is not ... to be used as an excuse ... I'm more interested in how we can improve our services and that is what we'll concentrate on doing.” A board meeting was also held yesterday to discuss the results.