Children at risk until NHS units close, warns Royal College of Paediatrics
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Thursday 11 April 2013
Almost a quarter of NHS children’s units should close to concentrate expertise in the remainder, the Royal College of Paediatrics says.
Consultants are spread too thinly among the 218 existing units whose numbers should be cut to 170, the college insists. Its survey has revealed that only one in 10 children’s units had a consultant on duty between 5pm and 10pm on weekdays, even though that is a peak time for urgent care for children.
At weekends, coverage was little better with just six per cent of hospitals having a consultant on duty during the same peak period. Dr Hilary Cass, president of the college, said: “There are too many units in the UK to provide a safe and sustainable service; health services can’t continue in their current form. Reconfiguration needs to happen to deliver the best possible care to children and young people.”
Closures were likely to trigger public protests but Dr Cass said doctors needed to convince parents that it was in their children’s interests. “Paediatricians are under significant pressure within the current structures and we have to be prepared to re-examine the way in which we deliver care, because this way of working is not sustainable.”
The report added: “In many other industries, it would be an anomaly that the most senior, experienced and skilled professionals were absent during the busiest periods. Regrettably, this appears to be common practice in paediatrics.”
Life & Style blogs
Reader dilemma: 'Our son is 34 with an IQ of 85, and spends all his time in his room. What will happen to him when we're no longer here?'
Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
The age of inactivity: How laziness is killing us
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...
£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...