"Use of short term locum doctors on Rowan 1 Highbury Hospital"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

My relative has been on Rowan 1 for approximately 6 weeks. During this relatively short period of time, the first locum Consultant Psychiatrist left soon after my relative arrived on the ward and another locum started. A couple of weeks later the second locum left and now we are on the third Locum Consultant. Each change has required the Dr. to go through the notes and try to get up to speed with the current situation and plans.

Each doctor has a different style and a different way of working. My relative is very shy, so it is very difficult for him to get used to these constant changes. I am not shy but it is still very difficult for the family to have to manage these constant changes. I think the lack of continuity of care for patients on this ward is both shocking and potentially dangerous. How can having a constant stream of consultants on very short contracts be safe? Whilst I appreciate that the permanent consultant has been off work for some considerable time, I do not think this justifies employing consultants as and when and on very short term contracts. Who is thinking of the patients needs when these decisions are being made?

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Response from Andrea Worrall, Acute Manager City & South, Adult Mental Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Many thanks for comment which I acknowledge. Locum Consultants cover for annual leave/sickness etc.

Continuity of care is paramount to our patient group and there supportive networks and acknowldege that persistent changes in consultant cover can have an effect on this.

We are currently in the difficult position of needing to provide cover for a substantive Consultant that remains on long term sick.

We attempt to reduce any risk of poor continuity by preparing patients and supportive networks of changes to consultants in advance as well as providing full and detailed handovers to new Consultants on the ward, in preparation.

Should you wish to discuss further then please contact the ward manager.

Kind regards

Andrea Worral Service Manager City and South Acute

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