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Cumbrian hospital staff shortages

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Concerns have been raised regarding Cumbrian hospitals’ staffing levels as they remain to be a “continuing problem”.  Last week a total of three junior doctors were prevented from working on the wards at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven due to there not being enough senior doctors on duty to supervise them.  The trust in charge of the hospital has taken on three temporary locums as a result, but complains that recruitment “remains a challenge”.

The Royal College of Nursing has stressed that health chiefs must tackle the staffing problem “urgently”.  The medical director of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Jeremy Rushmer, said a recruitment drive is being launched on Monday.  He said that taking on the three locums at West Cumberland Hospital was merely a temporary measure to maintain care provision at the hospital.  One of the locums has already started working at the hospital with the other two due to start on Monday.

“Determined to do all that we can conquer”

Dr Rushmer said: “Recruitment of permanent consultants and doctors remains a challenging issue for us but one that we are determined to do all that we can to conquer.”  He said that the recruitment launch would ensure that the trust is doing all it can to recruit the best candidates, while filling as many available positions across their hospitals as possible.

The operational manager for Royal College of Nursing Northern Region said that locum doctors should not be an option for hospitals already facing tough financial futures.  She argued that the appointment of permanent staff should be the main focus.

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