Overnight anaesthetic cover
Our biggest problem is making sure that we have a resident anaesthetist (a doctor available in the hospital overnight).
This cover was previously provided by trainee doctors but since we are no longer allowed to have trainees covering the overnight period at the Friargae Hospital, we have had to rely on locum doctors (temporary doctors).
This role is needed on the hospital site to allow emergency services to remain there and is supported overnight by a consultant anaesthetist on call from home.
We need a team of sever doctors to provide this rota 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and despite our best efforts to recruit, we currently have five vacancies that are filled by locum doctors. This is more expensive than employing permanent doctors and is not sustainable in the long term.
On average, our anaesthetists see three emergency patients a week in the overnight period (from 6pm to 8am).