THE HERALD can reveal there are serious concerns that obstetrics and gynaecology services, including maternity, at the South West Acute Hospital could collapse before the summer, due to the number of medical staff leaving the department.
A doctor who works in this field – whose details we are keeping vague to protect their identity – has reached out to the Herald to make the community aware of the threat to the service.
This doctor has outlined that, due to the suspension of emergency general sugery at the Enniskillen hospital, several obs and gynae consultants have announced they are planning to leave the hospital, and said locums were also reluctant to cover this rota, as they no longer have support from a general surgeon at the hospital if a procdure goes wrong.
They said the management of the Western Trust had been made aware of this situation by the clinicians for some time, and the doctors felt their concerns were not being listened to. They also said the Trust was aware of the impending departures of obs and gynae consultants.
As will be detailed in the full story in tomorrow’s Fermanagh Herald, the doctor said while the service would likely have staff cover for the next three months, they were unsure if it would be able to be sustained beyond May or June, due to the impending consultant departures.
When contacted by the Herald with detailed questions on these concerning claims, a Trust spokespeson said, “South West Acute Hospital is funded for six wholetime equivalent consultant obstetricians. Six consultants are currently on the rota and the rota remains stable. Preparations for recruitment are ongoing.”
The Herald asked again about the doctor’s concerns about the staffing situtation and if it anticipated if the service would be sustainable beyond June, and the Trust again said the SWAH currently had full rota of staff in obs and gyane.
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