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Health Insight April 2002: NHS consultants:  too few and too stressed

  A staffing emergency in gynaecology will hit the NHS within two years, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The number of training posts in obstetrics and gynaecology has continued to fall over the past three years, leaving the speciality facing a considerable deficit of consultants. At present there are not enough junior doctors to provide adequate levels of service cover on wards, or enough qualified doctors to fill vacant consultancy posts in the coming years.

Consultants working in accident and emergency departments are stressed out and one in ten has contemplated suicide, according to research. The study published in Emergency Medicine Journal found that A & E consultants have stress levels that are twice as high as the rest of their colleagues. Dr Susan Robinson, herself an A & E consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, surveyed 350 of the UK’s 479 emergency medicine consultants. She said the findings were unsurprising and urged action to improve the working conditions of A & E doctors.

Source: The Times 13th April, BBC Online

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