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Hospital review suggests GPs work on emergency wards

15 October 2009

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A review into the struggling Horton General Hospital in Banbury has suggested that GPs could work on the emergency ward in order to make up some of the staff shortages.

An NHS Oxfordshire spokesman said having GPs see emergency patients may work well, as they are often more experienced doctors.

Some departments in the 270-bed hospital are severely understaffed, which prompted the suggestion by the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust to move the majority of children’s and maternity care to Oxford.

But protesters argued against the move and won their case, which gave rise to the review ordered by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

Other suggestions arising from the review included having consultants from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford work overnight shifts in the children’s ward, a job currently being done by less-experienced doctors.

Andrew Stevens, a director of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “To make this work we are going to have to recruit more doctors, and that’s against a national backdrop where there are only enough doctors to staff three-quarters of the children’s wards across the nation.

“We have to explore how we can recruit and retain staff.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust