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Fears staff shortages will lead to poor A&E care

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent report has raised concerns over the hospital care being provided at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Accident and emergency consultants are worried that doctors are struggling to provide “safe care” as a result of severe staff shortages. While a recruitment drive is ongoing at the hospital, worries remain that the number of “senior” A&E doctors could drop from 10 to 2 by August.

The NHS Grampian board raised concerns regarding the staffing problem on Friday morning, with the belief that “appropriate medical cover” is of “key importance”. NHS Grampian’s medical director, Dr Roelf Dijkhuizen, said that a number of posts have already been filled, and that he is optimistic that the number of A&E doctors will soon stand at 8.

“Grossly underfunded”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said that the root of the problem is that the health board has been “grossly underfunded” by the Scottish Government. Health Secretary, Alex Neil, however, said that the board would be provided with all the support they need to meet its recruitment requirements. This will be possible because of the work of a £50m Unscheduled Care Action Plan, which ensures that the Scottish Government is ready to provide support to the board when required.

In December of last year, over 20 consultants at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary wrote to NHS Grampian’s board with worries that the hospital’s services were close to breaking point. Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

NHS Grampian have assured us that they are taking all necessary steps to recruit the doctors they need by August.

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