Worry over Army A&E medics plan23rd January 2012
A Yorkshire MP has said the idea of bringing in army medical staff to make up the shortfall of doctors in A&E departments was "deeply worrying".
Since the first of November the A&E department in Pontefract, which is managed by the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has been shut during the night.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said: "It is deeply worrying that two hospitals have now had to seek help from the Army because of the shortage of doctors."
She added that the government need to make a decision quickly on what MPs would do in order to "to deliver the doctors we need".
She added that 12,000 signatures had been collected in a petition to make Pontefract A&E open again 24 hours a day.
Labour MP for Hemsworth, John Trickett, spoke to BBC Radio Leeds and said the hiring of doctors was a "general issue" confronting the health service.
He added: "I am sick of words, I want to see deeds now. The answer is for the management of the trust to get a grip and recruit the necessary staff."
Professor Tim Hendra, medical director at the trust, said the trust was looking at ways that Army doctors could be used as a temporary measure: "These doctors would be trained medical staff that are not currently on military service but who could provide temporary support with our staffing rotas.
"We understand that this is only offered in exceptional circumstances. So far, we have only had some very exploratory conversations with the Army."
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Title: Worry over Army A&E medics plan
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 20833
Date Added: 23rd Jan 2012