Southport Reporter (R) Bourder
Southport & Mersey Reporter - Mobile

Click on here to go to latest edition's main page.

  Search Edition Archive  

Visit our online shop...


Click on to go to our hub website.

Latest Edition   Archive   Shop   Email   Mersey Reporter
Please support our advertiser below...

For more recommended businesses click on here...

Weekly Edition - Published  25 August 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


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.

Key Findings:-

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 extra work.

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 rota gaps.

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 downgrading of 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:-


News Report Page Quick Flick.

Click on here to go to the mobile menu page for this edition. News Report Page Quick Flick

Read this page.

Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




 RSS Our Weekly Headlines


(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

4a Post Office Ave, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 0US, UK


Click on to see our Twitter Feed.  Click on to see our Facebook Page.  Click on to follow our LinkedIn Profile. This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography. 

This is our media complains system...

We are regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint
Complaints Policy
Complaints Procedure
Whistle Blowing Policy


Southport Reporter® is the
Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope