Update on paediatric services in Lothian

Update on paediatric services in Lothian

Fiona Hyslop MSP has commented on the below press release from NHS Lothian saying “Constructive and detailed engagement has paid off. This is a great result for West Lothian.”

Please see the NHS Lothian Release in full below:

A major recruitment campaign and work programme is underway, following NHS Lothian’s decision to implement in full the recommendations of an expert review.
Eight consultant posts have been advertised across the UK, as well as Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner roles in a bid to bolster the workforce and ensure sustainability of children’s services in Lothian.

A special programme board was appointed, following the report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), to take forward the findings and work is now gathering pace.

The group has been working intensively with medical and nursing staff across both sites in St John’s Hospital and in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children to ensure sustainable services are in place.

They have considered the RCPCH’s recommended interim option and agreed they would prefer to propose another model – which is actually the ideal solution as recommended by RCPCH.

It means that instead of adopting a short-term solution until more staff are recruited, staff would create their own Resident model rota from the existing workforce and move straight to the Option 1 recommendation from the RCPCH from next month.

Jim Crombie, Acting Chief Executive, NHS Lothian, said the model was only made possible by NHS Lothian’s dedicated clinical teams.

He said: “This is clear evidence of NHS Lothian’s commitment to sustaining safe paediatrics services at St John’s Hospital.

“This has been achieved by a huge effort by the clinical teams across paediatrics, but especially at St John’s Hospital.”
Patients will not experience any differences and services will continue seamlessly as normal from St John’s Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
Recruitment will continue online and on social media and it is hoped that four of the eight consultant posts will be filled by a number of doctors who have now completed training.

Two trainee Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners have also been appointed in the last few days and their training will get underway shortly. Advertising for qualified practitioners will continue.

Mr Crombie said that the programme of work while positive remained complex and would be the subject of regular progress reports to the board of NHS Lothian.

He added: “I am delighted that the strategic approach, established by NHS Lothian in the summer of last year has, as we expected, provided a strong foundation for safe and effective paediatric care across Lothian.”