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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Cumbrian health chief's desperate plea for hospital doctors

North Cumbria's hospitals chief executive has issued an urgent plea for help in staffing the West Cumberland Hospital.

ptfarrarhospy
briefing: Ann Farrar

Ann Farrar has written to all hospital trusts in the north west and north east after problems with not having enough senior doctors in A&E at the hospital in Whitehaven.

The hiring of "permanent consultants and speciality doctors" is a "very challenging issue," a trust statement said.

Today's development comes after three junior doctors were removed from the hospital earlier this year because of a shortage of senior doctors to help train them.

A spokeswoman said some clinicians had been attracted from outside the area but there were still "a number of gaps in the acute medical rota which must be filled".

Ms Farrar today wrote to all trusts asking for " immediate interim support for medical staffing at West Cumberland Hospital in order to maintain acute medicine services."

The doctors needed are registrars and specialists to work in acute care medicine and emergency admissions.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are facing some immediate problems in terms of our acute care medical rota at West Cumberland Hospital and we want to be transparent and open with all of our stakeholders about this.

“We have today written to all chief executives in the North East and North West to request any interim support they may be able to give us in August in order to ensure continuity of care for our patients.

“There is no escaping some of the very real recruitment challenges we face as a trust and we are committed to working through these and making sure all of our patients, staff, the public and other stakeholders are kept fully up to date with progress.

"The help we have requested from other hospitals is clearly not a long term solution to the medical staffing problems we face but we are hopeful that with some support we will be able to secure the continued provision of safe services for this interim period."

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