A&E locum doctors

14th January 2014

Shadow Health Minister and Copeland MP Jamie Reed has reacted to news that LOCUM spend in A&E departments has risen sharply in Cumbria.
“Patients in need of urgent care are the ones paying a particularly high price for the Government’s chronic mismanagement of the NHS.  In North Cumbria, in the last year alone, almost five thousand people have waited in Accident and Emergency Departments for more than 4 hours; just last week, almost three people in every twenty to walk through the door were made to wait for more than 4 hours. 
“Various reports into health care in our community have shown that the doctors, nurses and other staff are working tirelessly, but are having their hands tied by growing demand and a lack of resource.  We owe them a great deal and we must do more to help them.  The Keogh review pointed to a shortage of staff, yet the Government has done nothing to address this, and has no plans to do so.
“This shortage of staff has led to a huge increase in the use of Locum doctors in A&E.  At North Cumbria Trust, the amount of money spent on Locums has increased dramatically since 2010.  This over-reliance on Locums stores up bad news for future hospital services as locum doctors can’t train junior hospital doctors.  This means that trusts around the country relying on locums are almost certainly building up a future recruitment crisis.  The Government should be helping trusts recruit for the long term rather than leaving them to rely on short-term, expensive stop-gaps.”
Notes:
1)      The LOCUM spend for each of the last four years:
2009/10
2010/11
2011/12
2012/13
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
£431,138
£535,796
£501,509
£1,860,135
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