WORKFORCE: A hospital trust has had its trainee anaesthetists withdrawn by Health Education England after concerns about the quality of training going back to 2009, HSJ can reveal.

A Freedom of Information Act request to NHS England’s London branch showed 11 trainees were withdrawn from North Middlesex University Hospital Trust earlier this year after concerns were raised by Health Education North Central and East London.

The local branch of the training and education body said trainees in core training posts at the hospital were not receiving adequate supervision in 2009, but it was not until March this year that the posts were suspended.

The General Medical Council, which oversees standards of medical training, said its national training surveys in 2011 and 2012 “continued to highlight issues with clinical supervision” in the specialty at North Middlesex but that in 2013 it had been assured by the trust that it “was meeting the minimum requirements for clinical standards according to the Royal Academy of Anaesthetists”.

The GMC made a further visit in November last year and said: “Several issues had not been resolved.”

The council said when “further concerns were raised” by trainee anaesthetists in January a decision was taken to suspend the 11 posts.

Only one organisation, Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, has been under GMC “enhanced monitoring” for longer than North Middlesex. The west Midlands trust was investigated following the care scandal at the provider.

North Middlesex confirmed that covering the shortfall in anaesthetists with fully trained staff since the withdrawal had cost £450,000.

A trust spokesman said: “We are working closely with Health Education North Central and East London and other partners to address the training concerns that were raised.

“We are working towards having trainees back with us in the next 12 months.”