Complaints made by a trainee has triggered a review by Health Education England of junior doctors’ training at a struggling West Midlands trust.
The junior doctor training programme for ophthalmology at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust is set to be reviewed by HEE in June, following complaints from a trainee about a lack of exposure to cataract surgery and a shortage of senior medical staff for supervision. The trust said in a statement the latter issue has been addressed.
Trust board papers, published on 27 April, said: “The trust has received notice from the deanery that they will be completing a review of the junior doctor training programme in June 2017, following concerns raised by the junior trainee staff.
“It is anticipated that these concerns are in relation to the lack of exposure to cataract theatre lists.”
The news follows a decision by the trust to reduce the number of sites if offers ophthalmology services at from three to one, pending public consultation. This is primarily due to difficulties recruiting consultants and retaining nurses.
The papers said the trust’s accommodation in ophthalmology is “substandard and fragmented” and waiting times for the service have increased “past maximum waits”.
The trust has also struggled with recruiting to senior medical posts in several specialities and in March it said it would need to close accident and emergency services overnight at one of its hospital sites due to a reduction in the number of consultants working in A&E.
Outpatient neurology services were also suspended from 20 March due difficulties recruiting to consultant posts and inability to recruit more locums and stay within its agency spending cap. The trust currently has two substantive consultants and one whole-time equivalent locum, but is required to have at least one neurologist per 80,000 people.
A spokesman from Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust said: “The review will look at areas including a lack of exposure to teach cataract surgery and a shortage of senior ophthalmology staff for supervision. The latter issue has since been addressed.
“HEE carries out a routine programme of training reviews. This is the only triggered review.”
HEE was approached for comment.
Board papers and information provided to HSJ