More Paediatric Training Places Needed to Save St. John’s Hospital Children’s Ward

The Royal College of Paediatrics (RCPCH) has issued a report that found Scotland is short of between 84 to 110 specialist paediatric consultants, to be able to meet standards.

St. John’s Hospital children’s ward has been closed to out of hours inpatients since July 2017 due to a shortage of staff.

NHS Lothian bosses told MSPs on Tuesday that they “still have a way to go around having a sustainable out-of-hours rota” there.

The RCPCH have called for the Scottish Government to increase the number of paediatric trainee places in Scotland to achieve an expansion in the paediatric consultant level workforce of 84-110 full time positions.

Scottish Conservative spokesman Miles Briggs comments:

“The SNP has subjected the NHS to ten years of mismanagement, which is why we are in the position where St. John’s Hospital children’s ward is still closed to out of hours patients and that we still have no date for the its reopening fully.

“The continued closure means that West Lothian families are still facing lengthy and costly journeys to the Sick Kids’ in Edinburgh to visit their child in hospital.

“The SNP must take this seriously and ensure that more paediatric training places are made available so that Scotland’s shortage of Paediatric consultants is fixed.

“It is clear that Scotland has a number of trained Specialist Paediatric clinicians who have taken career breaks and it is now imperative for St. John’s Hospital that we look towards how we can support recruitment, retention and return for these NHS professionals.”


Miles Briggs