Children’s health at risk due to doctor shortages

  • June 10, 2019
  • Paediatricians, hospital doctors and GPs have raised serious concerns about the current staffing crisis, advising that there are not enough health professionals to meet the growing demand for care.

    Paediatric report raises concerns

    The report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) warns that children’s health services in Wales are on the brink of a recruitment crisis, with current staffing levels of 2.6 consultant paediatricians for every 10,000 children.

    Paediatricians in Wales are also older than in other nations – nearly half of consultants are aged 50 or over, which the report highlights is “a serious concern.”

    The Welsh Government has said that it is investigating levels of training and education in the health service.

    Dr David Tuthill, a paediatrician, said that the report highlights the seriousness of the problem, adding that “failing to take the necessary steps now will be to the detriment of our children now and in the future.”

    The RCPCH report has recommended that the following suggestions are implemented:

    • Umbrella body Health Education and Improvement Wales must develop a tailored strategy for developing the workforce involved in looking after children, including health visitors, nurses and doctors;
    • The Welsh Government needs to increase the number of paediatric trainee places in Wales;
    • Incentives such as bonuses should be considered to recruit and retain paediatricians, particularly in remote or rural areas.

    The RCPCH has also backed recommendations from the Royal College of General Practitioners for GPs to undertake a further year of training, with six months dedicated to paediatrics.

    Elizabeth Wickson of Medical Accident Group, commented: “Staffing shortages are all too common within the NHS, especially within specialities such as paediatrics. The suggestions that the RCPCH report has put forward will hopefully encourage the recruitment of those with a desire to specialise in paediatrics.”

    If you or a family member have suffered from issues relating to staffing shortages, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors who will guide you through the process of making a claim. Call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email us at info@medicalaccidentgroup.co.uk.

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