New evidence exposing the
extent of junior doctor understaffing
THE 'mind the rota gap' project
asked Junior Doctors to highlight the shortage of Doctors that NHS Hospitals
currently face. The results show a snapshot of an NHS struggling to cope with
understaffing of its Hospital departments.
Junior Doctors responded to email and social media requests for them to report
this data. Rota gaps occur when a Hospital or department is unable to cover the
working shift pattern required to manage patients, due to the lack of Doctors.
► More than 25% of respondents who identified a rota gap stated their rota was
short of 4 or more Junior Doctors.
► 21% of rota gaps were not being covered in any capacity ie. they were left empty
► 77% reported their rota gaps were not being covered by a sustainable model ie.
no cover, by a short term locum appointment, or by existing staff taking on
These findings support the recent workforce survey carried out the Royal College
of Paediatrics and Child Health which found that more than one in four senior
paediatric trainee posts are unfilled, and over half of paediatric units are not
meeting recommended staffing standards.
Doctors' comments identified serious potential dangers for patients of these
One Emergency Medicine trainee stated:- "I have noticed increased workload
recently due to rota gaps. The expectations of me are to see patients quickly in
A&E, make a diagnosis and start treatment. There are times I can feel out of my
depth, but there is often a lack of senior support available to take advice
from. Despite my best efforts, the combination of less time to see patients and
lack of senior input has affected the quality of care provided."
Junior Doctors consistently described situations of high stress, tiredness, and
struggling to cope with the demand. This is exacerbated by the constant pressure
to take on more shifts to fill the gaps.
Anaesthetics Trainee:- "There is increased stress as I have had to cover a
busy Paediatric Intensive Care Unit on my own when there should have been two
Doctors covering it. There has been less support around so I have to cope with
more difficult cases alone."
Paediatrics Trainee:- "There are constant calls, at all hours of the day,
asking if I can cover shifts as no locum has been found. With the stress of
feeling you are letting the team down if you say no to a shift."
This issue impacts on training of Doctors who are going to be the future
consultants of the NHS.
Oncology Trainee:- "Over the last 5 years issues with gaps, pressure on
delivering a safe service and just making sure we are seeing patient has led to
huge issues with training. Cancer is a rapidly developing speciality with new
innovations all the time, but at the moment, with covering rota gaps in
oncology, and being ask to cover my other medical colleagues who are missing
just to keep the patient's safe means that future the quality of future cancer
consultants is being jeopardised by the issues with widespread rota gaps."
Commenting on the findings Dr Ellen McCourt Chair of the Junior Doctors
Committee of the British Medical Association. "The dispute over the Junior
Doctor contract threatens to turn rota cracks into rota chasms.
Government plans to expand 7 day services without providing extra funding
and extra staff will stretch an already overstretched junior doctor workforce
even more thinly. We desperately need more Doctors, Nurses and healthcare
professionals, alongside essential additional funding, if the government wants
to deliver safe care and protect frontline staff from burnout."
The staffing of the NHS is in crisis, and we the juniors Doctors of the NHS are
worried the impacts that this will have on the wellbeing of our patients, and
the Doctors covering gaping holes with sticking plaster.
These gaps in the rota are having a direct effect on patient care. This is
particularly stark in the A&E waiting times data, with only 82% of patients
meeting the 4 hour waiting time, which is the worst performance since the
introduction of the target in
2004. In fact A&E has not met the 4 hour target in over 2 years. Chorley, and
Grantham, A&E departments have already identified issue with opening hours due
to the lack of Doctors, rota gaps and safe staffing. Alongside the recent
Horton Maternity unit, again due to the lack of Doctors, this will mean longer
waiting times, and a greater potential risk to the health of the population.
Will this affect you? Please let us know your thoughts and
views on this issue by emailing us to:-
TONI&GUY Southport thanks
loyal customers as it closes after 18 years
TONI&GUY Southport would like to thank
all of its loyal customers, as the salon makes a difficult decision to shut
after 18 years of business. The salon has been forced to make this decision due
to circumstances beyond their control and unfortunately they had no other option,
but to close.
It is with regret that TONI&GUY Southport had to cease trading on the 17 August 2016.
This decision has not been made lightly and TONI&GUY will do their utmost to
find all remaining staff suitable positions at neighbouring salons.
Salon Manager, James Leigh said:- "We would like to take this opportunity
to thank our many clients over the past eighteen years for their loyalty, and
would like to offer them all, as a gesture of goodwill, a 30% discount on all
hair services at TONI&GUY Preston (01772 202200) for the next 6 months. We would
also like to thank all our staff for all their hard work and wish them all the
best for the future"
Landlords respond to rising
cost of Housing Benefit
RESPONDING to the findings from the
National Housing Federation (NHF) about the cost of housing benefit in the UK,
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association (NLA),
said:- "Housing benefit is not a subsidy to landlords; it's a support for
tenants to ensure they can pay for their housing. However, the proportion of
landlords who let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit has halved over the
last 5 years as benefit levels have not kept up with rents.
The NHF is clearly still reeling from the news that its members have been
ordered by government to reduce spending over the next 4 years, so it comes as
no surprise that they are looking to shift the emphasis and point the finger
The private rented sector has grown as the market responds to the increasing
demand for homes, particularly from a growing proportion of tenants whom the
social sector and housing associations simply are not able to support in the
The private rented sector plays a significant role in providing much needed
homes for tenants so there seems no real benefit in the NHF taking a cheap shot
at landlords. What we should all be talking about is the failure of successive
governments to adequately allocate its housing budget and to incentivise the
building of new homes. In the long term, that would be the best use of
Celebrating the best of Wirral's heritage
HERITAGE Open Days are taking place across Wirral in
September 2016, in what promises to be 1 of the biggest and best festivals of its type
anywhere. More than 100 free events are scheduled to take place all around the
borough over a 9 day period between 3 September and 11 September 2016, to celebrate Wirral's
architecture, history and culture.
Heritage Open Days are a national initiative co-ordinated by the National Trust
but supported by many heritage groups and through funding from the People's
Postcode Lottery. As has become tradition, though nationally the festival only
runs for only 4 days, such is the scale of the Wirral programme that our
Heritage Open Days take place over 9 days.
Among the highlights this year is a visit the newly renovated World War II
air raid shelters at Birkenhead High School Academy. A chance to explore some of
the historic rooms of Leasowe Castle and the opportunity to take part in a
themed walk exploring the past, present and future of Wirral's Victorian
masterpiece, Flaybrick Cemetery, also stand out this year. The Wirral programme
is run entirely by volunteers and co-ordinated by Wirral History and Heritage
Association, with support from Wirral Council.
Cllr Jerry Williams, Wirral Council's Heritage Champion, said:- "Heritage
Open Days are one of the highlights of the tourism calendar for visitors and
residents alike, with nine fantastic days of Wirral's important culture, history
and heritage. From historic buildings and guided walks, to places of worship and
wonderful gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy."
Details of the complete programme can be found
Pre-booking is essential for many events, so people are advised to reserve a
place as soon as possible.