The number of children’s doctors employed at York hospital has fallen significantly in the last three years.
A freedom of information request by Labour’s candidate for York Outer, Luke Charters, has revealed that the figure for full-time equivalent paediatric doctors fell from 47 in April 2020 to 39 in April 2023.
That’s a drop of 17%.
Mr Charters decided to research the number of children’s doctors after a recent wait of more than four hours in A&E with his baby boy, who has since recovered from a viral infection of bronchiolitis.
At one point in August 2022 there were just 35 full-time equivalent children’s doctors employed at the hospital.
Mr Charters said: “After 13 years of Tory government taking a hammer to our NHS, more and more services are coming under extreme pressure and staff morale is lower than ever.
“A fall of eight doctors is the equivalent of around 1,800 fewer days of health care a year for the youngest and some of the most vulnerable people in our city. This is not the fault of NHS workers who work incredibly hard. The fault lies at the door of this Tory government.
“Only Labour can be trusted with the NHS. We have a plan to build an NHS fit for the future by training a new generation of doctors, nurses, and midwives to treat patients on time again.”
A spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our emergency departments are under significant pressure which can sometimes mean patients wait longer than we would like to be seen, and we are sorry that this is the case.
“We are fortunate to have a full complement of paediatric consultants in York. There are some gaps on the junior doctor rotas, as nationally there is a shortage of doctors training in paediatrics.
“However we are able to cover these with bank staff, who are either our own doctors or doctors from other trusts who have worked in the department previously.
“We are confident that we provide a high quality and safe service for acutely unwell children.”
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