Health bosses issue assurances over weekend cover

By a County Press reporter

Friday, March 28, 2014


ASSURANCES have been issued by Isle of Wight NHS after a BBC report highlighted a lack of consultants at weekends.

A You and Yours report found that St Mary’s Hospital had no consultants in the hospital during weekend afternoons.

Concerns about weekend services nationally led medical director of NHS England Prof Sir Bruce Keogh to call for them to be reviewed urgently.

Following the report, Dr Mark Pugh said: "At the moment we are not resourced to provide 24/7 consultant cover, however, our arrangements are designed to ensure that our services are safe and provide good quality care. They have worked effectively for years, but are kept under constant review.

"Wherever you are on the Island, you are never more than 30 minutes away from St. Mary’s Hospital.

"All consultants providing 'on call’ cover are required to be resident on the Island and attend the hospital when called.

"Across a number of our specialities our 'on call’ consultants do ward rounds at the hospital on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes twice a day.

"Whilst these are not a 'full shift’ it does ensure that our consultants in key areas are present in the hospital during the course of the weekend and they return to the hospital for any emergencies.

"Additional on call support is provided by a range of other services to ensure our patients and staff are safe. This includes health, safety, security, fire, back care and helipad.

"As an Island we organise our services differently to the mainland. We the only fully integrated health Trust in England providing ambulance, community, hospital and mental health services in one organisation. Our innovative Integrated Care Hub, which includes 999, 111, community nursing, mental health, adult social care, warden assisted home alarms and other care services ensures that our residents have fast access to health and social care advice at the touch of a button."

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