latest health care news

20.01.12

Trusts looking to Army for cover

A hospital trust is looking to bring in the Army to deal with emergency patients overnight due to a shortage of mid-ranking doctors.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is currently not providing overnight cover, as it has not been able to hire the required number of experienced staff.

Many have criticised the European Working Time Directive for limiting doctors to working 48 hour weeks, which they suggest is slowing the rate at which junior medics can gain experience.

The Department of Health has denied there is a shortage and said the Trust had not approached the MoD.

But Taj Hassan, vice-president of theCollegeofEmergency Medicine, said: “With mid-ranking doctors there is a shortage of, on average, 25% nationally. In some areas it’s a lot worse.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have made contact with the Army and had early exploratory conversations.

“One of these options was to look at how medical staff who have been trained by the Army could provide some support on a temporary basis.

“We are in the early stages of looking at the viability of this as one of several possible options and there are no confirmed plans.”

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