Funding cut hits doctors

PUBLISHED: 10:39 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

THE NUMBER of junior doctors due to be taken in by local hospitals next year may be reduced after a cut in funding. East and North Hertford-shire NHS Trust, which manages Lister Hospital, has been informed that the amount of money it receives as part of i

THE NUMBER of junior doctors due to be taken in by local hospitals next year may be reduced after a cut in funding.

East and North Hertford-shire NHS Trust, which manages Lister Hospital, has been informed that the amount of money it receives as part of its education and training income from the Department of Health will be reduced.

This is estimated to be around £1.5m for 2006/07.

As a result of this the number of junior doctors the Trust enlists during its next intake in February 2007 could be reduced, but according to a Trust spokesman this will not jeopardise the running of "compliant, safe services".

The spokesman said: "We haven't made a decision and the number of junior doctors we have runs into the hundreds.

"For every speciality we have a rota of juniors to make sure we have cover 24 hours a day, and to keep our quotas compliant with legislation.

"Therefore given our financial position, and with this £1.5m reduction, we will have enough cover but won't be top heavy. It might be that we have to say to medical schools that we need a couple less juniors.

"Saying that it would still leave us with enough juniors to run compliant, safe services and we are not going to jeopardise that."

The reduction in funding could also have consequences on the attempts by the Trust to reduce its year-end deficit to £7.5m, set this year by the Strategic Health Authority.

At the moment the Trust is forecasting it will hit £10.5m, although more is being done to reduce this.

The Trust spokesman said: "We are determined to hit our control total despite the additional pressure of what £1.5m will cause us. We are absolutely committed to that.

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