Patient confidentiality is being put at risk because a key group of hospital doctors does not have adequate office space, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).
There are about 12,500 staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors working alongside consultants and junior doctors in hospitals across the UK.
The BMA says that many have a large administrative workload, but despite this, most do not have their own offices.
The doctors’ body is calling for them to have minimum standards of access to office space as a matter of urgency.
Speaking at today the BMA’s conference of staff and associate specialist doctors in London, Dr Elizabeth Bailey of the BMA’s Staff and Associate Specialists Committee will say that sensitive information about patients is being left in areas where it could be viewed because SAS doctors do not have adequate office space.
“If you don’t have your own office, you have to do your paperwork wherever you can find the room – in the coffee room, on the wards, in corridors,” Bailey will say.
“Without a secure working environment it is very hard to ensure that no-one else can see sensitive information. I have met hundreds of SAS doctors and this is a very common problem.”