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Quadrupling of vacant consultant posts in Welsh NHS is worrying – Kirsty Williams.

September 5, 2011 1:01 PM

Kirsty Williams indoor portrait July 2011 (Kirsty Williams)Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, has expressed her concern at latest government statistics that show that 45 consultant posts in the Welsh NHS have been vacant for three months or more. Six months earlier, only 11 consultant posts were vacant for the same time period. 

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"I am very concerned with the quadrupling in the number of vacant consultant posts in the NHS. Consultants are the specialist doctors who have in-depth training and expertise to treat patients suffering from a range of conditions from cancer to orthopaedics. 

"We already know that the Welsh NHS has difficulty in recruiting junior doctors however I am concerned that Local Health Boards are failing to advertise these consultant posts in a bid to save money. Patient safety and care is paramount and we are not going to get the world class health service we deserve if we do not have the specialists working in our NHS.

"The shortage of consultants puts existing consultants under greater pressure to meet the heavy demands placed on our service.  We've seen the Welsh NHS frequently miss its referral to treatment waiting time targets and when you see the number of vacant consultant posts in the NHS it is no wonder that patients in Wales are waiting longer than patients in England for treatment."

ENDS   

Stats can be found here: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/statistics/headlines/health2011/110830/?lang=en