Paediatric Services Under Threat

Doctors have warned of a threat to the future of paediatric surgery.

A survey of hospitals found that as many as a third of hospitals do not carry out paediatric surgery. Instead of being operated on at their local district general hospital, many children are sent to specialist centres, even for routine surgery such as hernia repairs or removal of the appendix.

Doctors in training have to carry out routine surgery in order to learn and hone their skills. Because routine paediatric surgery is now being carried out by a small number of experienced surgeons at specialist centres, there is a lack of opportunities for doctors in training at district hospitals to observe and carry out routine surgery on children. There is a concern that when the current crop of senior doctors retire, there will be a shortage of suitably qualified doctors to carry out surgery on children.

Senior doctors have for some time been warning that removing training opportunities from junior doctors threatens the future of medical treatment. Already there has been a case where a hospital threatened to close surgical wards as a result of the lack of skilled staff.

Posted 16th May 2008 | Posted in News,Uncategorised