Friday, 28 December 2012

Why we really do need 10 consultants at St peters A and E

As many of you know, I’ve been banging on for some time for another 6 more consultants at St Peter’s A and E, to take the number up to 10.

You probably won’t be impressed to hear that I worked this out based on my own calculations of how many consultants you would need to cover three 8 hour shifts with overlaps for busy periods but allowing for holidays, sickness, further education and doing operations. That’s how I came up with 10 – it was common sense. Clearly, the current 4 won’t do.

All the same I never had much hope that my calculations would influence anyone at the hospital. So it came as some relief when I came on this government report;


“The demands on an EM Consultant are unrelenting, with a constant stream of decision making for high-risk patients presenting with critical illness, serious injury or with the potential for high morbidity and mortality, generally overlaid with additional Departmental management responsibilities.

In order to ensure patient safety, this decision dense activity is only safely sustainable for a limited number of hours. This is important when considering the total number of Emergency Medicine Consultants required in an ED, accepting that these Consultants will be working a shift pattern.

The College of Emergency Medicine has recommended a minimum of 10 whole time equivalent EM Consultants for each ED. This number is designed to provide up to 16 hours a day EM Consultant presence 7 days a week. Increased EM Consultant numbers will ensure improved work/life balance prospects for the trainees, enhanced protected training time and better supervision as well as an improvement in mortality and morbidity rates in and out of hours (OOHs).”


Emergency Medicine Taskforce Interim report. 2012.


Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Eh, GIMME 10!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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