Today’s ‘Facing the Future Audit 2017’ published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has recommended an increase in total of 752 FTE paediatric consultants to meet standards – 520-540 in England, 84-110 in Scotland, 84-91 in Wales and 30-31 in Northern Ireland.
Services are struggling to ensure a consultant paediatrician is available in the hospital during peak hours of activity, including at weekends.
Across all training rotas, 30.1% of paediatric units have the recommended number of staff to manage care.
Commenting on the troubling findings, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
“For the sake of our children, there needs to be much better workforce planning and a strategy to fill those vacant posts.
“This is another area where there are not enough consultants for patients to feel confident in our national paediatric service. NHS staff are stretched and run ragged.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that has proposed a dedicated health and social care tax and putting a penny on income tax which would raise £6bn to put into the NHS and social care.”