Pres­sure on the sys­tem

Va­can­cies at Hairmyres Hos­pi­tal

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ni­cola Findlay

A num­ber of va­can­cies in key med­i­cal po­si­tions at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal Hairmyres is putting ex­tra pres­sure on hard-pressed staff, lo­cal politi­cians have warned.

While lat­est sta­tis­tics for wait­ing times at the East Kil­bride A&E depart­ment have shown an im­prove­ment, NHS La­nark­shire say there are 10 va­can­cies at the hos­pi­tal across a num­ber of spe­cial­i­ties.

The board told the News con­sul­tants have been re­cruited this week in care of the el­derly and acute medicine, and in­ter­views are sched­uled this month.

At Hairmyres five locums are cur­rently in post in medicine, while a locum post in surgery is cur­rently ad­ver­tised and there is also a post va­cant within vas­cu­lar.

A locum is in post in care of the el­derly and there are two va­cant posts in oph­thal­mol­ogy with in­ter­views sched­uled this month.

Dr Jane Burns, NHS La­nark­shire acute di­vi­sional med­i­cal di­rec­tor, said: “In the last week we have been suc­cess­ful in re­cruit­ing two con­sul­tant level va­can­cies in care of the el­derly and acute medicine at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal Hairmyres. Although these posts have been filled, the in­di­vid­u­als have still to start in post. A to­tal of 10 doc­tor va­can­cies re­main.

“Med­i­cal and man­age­rial staff work closely to man­age pe­ri­ods of peak ac­tiv­ity in our hos­pi­tals and to fill any gaps in the rota to en­sure we have the right com­bi­na­tion of med­i­cal staff to de­liver safe and ef­fec­tive care. Where nec­es­sary, we use locum doc­tors to pro­vide con­ti­nu­ity of ser­vice while we re­cruit.”

Tory List MSP Gra­ham Simp­son said: “Va­can­cies in key po­si­tions has been an on­go­ing prob­lem in La­nark­shire and cer­tainly doesn’t help in meet­ing wait­ing time tar­gets.

“The use of locums is, there­fore, essen­tial but it is far bet­ter to have peo­ple per­ma­nently in post. I hope that the move to uni­ver­sity hos­pi­tal sta­tus will help at­tract the best and bright­est med­i­cal staff to East Kil­bride and the rest of La­nark­shire.”

Labour MSP Mon­ica Len­non said: “Staff work­ing at Hairmyres Hos­pi­tal con­tinue to pro­vide ex­cel­lent care de­spite re­sources fail­ing to keep up with de­mand.

“Over­all staff num­bers are at their high­est level but there are ur­gent work­force chal­lenges, and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and health boards have not planned ef­fec­tively for the long term. That’s not sim­ply my opin­ion but the in­de­pen­dent view of Au­dit Scot­land.

NHS La­nark­shire owes it to staff and pa­tients to take work­force plan­ning se­ri­ously as va­can­cies in our hos­pi­tals are putting pres­sure on ex­ist­ing staff.”

SNP MSP Linda Fabi­ani said: “It is wel­come news that NHS La­nark­shire has re­cruited per­ma­nent con­sul­tant level staff for East Kil­bride over the past cou­ple of weeks, in care of the el­derly and acute medicine.

“It has been made clear by NHS La­nark­shire that there is no re­source is­sue, and the re-des­ig­na­tion of our hos­pi­tal to Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal Hairmyres makes us an at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion. The ad­di­tional £400 mil­lion in­jected into our NHS will en­sure health boards can con­tinue to re­cruit the re­quired staff.”

Fig­ures for the week end­ing Jan­uary 28 show that 89.3 per cent of pa­tients were seen at Hairmyres within four hours – be­low the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of 95 per cent – but an im­prove­ment on 84.7 for the pre­vi­ous week.

The lat­est sta­tis­tics cover the fi­nal week of ex­tended GP open­ing hours in Jan­uary. But Hairmyres was once again be­low the NHS La­nark­shire av­er­age of 93.4 per cent for the fourhour tar­get and the NHS Scot­land av­er­age of 89.7 per cent.

Mean­while, 20 pa­tients waited over eight hours and five over 12 hours.

Re­cruit­ing Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal Hairmyres

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