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Gaps In Junior Doctor Rotas Call For NHS Staff To Pitch In

Posted on 01.06.2016

Amongst the on-going debate around junior doctors’ weekend working conditions, NHS bosses announce that nurses, paramedics and pharmacists could be trained to fill junior doctor rotas in a bid to support the demand in care.
A Nuffield Trust review was conducted to look at how the current workforce could be reshaped to address the issue. The review found that staff were already being used to fill in for hospital doctors and GPs in some instances.
With the increasing number of patients needing treatment, and the gap in rotas on the up, hospitals struggling to cope, look to other outlets to relieve the pressure.
But union bosses told The Independent that the changes must not be made at the expense of good quality training for doctors themselves.
According to the report, some junior doctors’ posts have been catered for across the country, with Sheffield Teaching Hospital Trust using nurses in their place within accident and emergency units, surgery and paediatrics. 10 GP practices in York and Hull have employed pharmacists to see patients to review medicine.
Candace Imison, report author and Nuffield Trust Director of Policy, said in a statement: “Our research shows that reshaping the NHS workforce can offer huge opportunities – for patients, through improved health outcomes, and for staff, through more rewarding roles and better career pathways.
“But we stress in our report that this is not simply a ‘nice to do’ – it is urgent, and essential if the Health Service is to find a sustainable balance between available funding, patient needs and staff needs, and deliver services fit for the 21st century”.

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