The workforce survey published by Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on 16 August has found that more than 1 in 4 general paediatric posts at senior trainee level are vacant, consultants are stepping in to provide unplanned cover in addition to their own role, more than half of the paediatric units are not meeting recommended staffing levels and 4 out of 5 clinical directors have concerns for the future service.
The information was obtained by Rota Vacancies and Compliance Survey which has been collecting evidence in connection with the Working Time Regulations (WTR).
Dr Simon Clark, Workforce Officer at the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health said:
“The paediatric workforce is at breaking point and children’s healthcare is increasingly compromised. There is no escaping the fact that an increase in junior and consultant posts is urgently needed, couple with a radical re-design of services. We call for managerial leadership to breakdown barriers to multi-disciplinary working, an increase in children’s nurses and immediate opportunities for our GP colleagues to access child health training.”
For more information about this article please revert to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health website.
Any gap in staffing levels will have serious implications for care and patient safety going forward and interestingly as stated by Dr Clark:
“Investment in children’s services is not only morally right but necessary if they are to become healthy, productive adults. A healthier population will spend more time in work and less time needing healthcare; investment in children’s services are a win-win for everyone’.”
This is therefore any area which requires significant investment now to ensure the problem does not become unsalvageable in the future.
If you or a member of your family have any concerns in respect of child health or paediatric treatment please contact our Medical Negligence team on 0800 316 8892.