• HEE confirms Isle of Wight Trust will hold onto its trainee doctors in acute medicine 
  • Trust declares “excellent progress” with recruitment after hiring eight doctors from overseas 
  • Plans to continue to seek up to 16 new junior and middle-grade doctors

A trust in quality special measures is set to retain its trainee doctors after addressing regulators’ concerns by recruiting several doctors from overseas. 

Last year, Health Education England and General Medical Council warned Isle of Wight Trust it could lose its trainees in acute medical services if urgent action was not taken to provide additional out-of-hours doctors at St Mary’s Hospital. 

During an inspection in October, HEE found “significant stress” was being put on trainees and they were “not able to do their job effectively” as a result.

However, an IOWT’s February board paper said “excellent progress” had since been made with the trust’s recruitment plan, which has seen eight middle-grade doctors hired from overseas so far. The trust is planning to continue hiring, bringing the additional recruits up to 16 middle-grade or junior doctors.

The postgraduate dean for HEE Wessex, Paul Sadler, has now confirmed the trust has recruited enough doctors to retain its trainees. The new doctors are due to start over the course of the “next two to three months”, according to a board paper.

The board paper stated: “Following the GMC/HEE visit [in October] and the submission by the trust to address the outstanding actions, the postgraduate dean has advised that the steps taken to appoint additional medicine middle grade doctors are sufficient to enable the trust to retain the trainees.

“The other key action was to appoint clinical site coordinators for the hospital at night team of which three have been appointed and there is only one outstanding post remaining to be filled.”

The GMC and HEE have monitored acute medicine at the trust since 2018, after serious concerns were raised about the safety and the learning environment for doctors.

The trust was placed in quality special measures in April 2017 after it was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission due to “significant” concerns over safety. The CQC upgraded the hospital to “requires improvement” in September last year but it remains in special measures.