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Lincolnshire trust spends £20m on emergency cover

21st March 2011

The United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust has paid out £20 million in the last financial year in order to provide emergency cover.

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A lack of consultants has led to the problem, which saw it overspend £14 million of its £384 million budget for the year.

The trust said it has 22 empty hospital consultant positions, although five new consultants had been hired and six other positions were being advertised.

Roswyn Hakesley-Brown from the Patients' Association said that this was an issue which had to be dealt with as soon as possible.

"They are already in deficit in relation to their existing budget... money is going to be reduced in terms of front-line services to patients and the impact on patients could be considerable."

A trust statement said: "Over the past 12 months we have actively engaged with international recruitment initiatives to help recruit to our hard-to-fill posts, including those in A&E, paediatrics, haematology and emergency medicine."

"We have significantly reduced the number of consultant vacancies in our hospitals over the past few months, and are continuing to recruit to consultant posts in the coming months."

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, called the lack of consultants "a blip" and said it would be resolved soon.

 

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