WITH concern persisting locally about the future of obstetrics and gynaecology services at the SWAH, the Western Trust has advertised for two consultants for the department.
There have been fears about a staff exodus from the obs and gynae department at the Enniskillen hospital since the suspension of emergency general surgery in December.
It is understood consultants have left the department or were planning to leave due to fears of the impact removing the general surgery service would have on their ability to treat their patients safely.
Last November, a group of obs and gynae doctors from the hospital issued an open letter to the Trust outlining these patient safety concerns, and in February a medical whistleblower told the Herald they believed the service could collapse “come May or June” due to impending staff departures.
Currently, obs and gynae is the only service performing emergency surgery at the SWAH.
After the fears were revealed in February, the Trust said it had a fully staffed rota of consultants in the Department.
The day after the Herald’s article was published, the Trust advertised for five new obs and gynae doctors at the hospital. Now, this month, it has advertised for two new consultants.
The Herald contacted the Trust this week to ask if this meant the SWAH department had lost, or was due to lose, obs and gynae consultants from its team. The Trust was also asked if there would be any impact on service provision as a result of this.
The Trust did not answer these questions and responded with exactly the same statement it had issued to the Herald in February.
“South West Acute Hospital is funded for six wholetime equivalent consultant obstetricians,” it stated. “Six consultants are currently on the rota and the rota remains stable.”
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