Win for overworked Cardiology trainees at Liverpool

10-Jul-2020


ASMOF has had a win at Liverpool Hospital, with management committing to recruit a much needed additional Cardiology Advanced Trainee.

The Cardiology Trainees at Liverpool Hospital contacted ASMOF advising that they were suffering from extreme fatigue due to a lack of sleep caused by onerous and unsafe work hours.

The team requested a meeting to discuss their concerns about their unsafe hours, in particular the very large number of call-backs that they were performing after hours. The Cardiologists at Liverpool provide a service to all hospitals within the SWSLHD, as Liverpool is the only hospital that has a Cath Lab open at night.

The Cardiology team desperately needed to reduce the frequency of their on-call duties, so that they would have more time to recover in between shifts. The team were barely recovered from the exhausting requirements of their ordinary hours and intense on-call duties, when they were required to be on-call to cover other urgent duties within the Hospital, as well as inter-hospital consultations across SWSLHD.

The team also expressed concerns about their ability to provide safe patient care and reduce the unsustainable hazards to their own health and wellbeing, despite their obvious skill and dedication to their roles.

ASMOF met with the team at Liverpool Hospital to go over their concerns and plan a way forward. Recruitment to an additional College accredited Advance Trainee position was seen to be the most practical, achievable way of making beneficial change to the health and wellbeing of the Registrars.

Despite the Cardiology Team’s own efforts during late 2019 to get management to agree to fill the position, an additional Trainee position remained unfilled.

ASMOF met with the SWSLHD Director of Medical Services (‘DMS’) soon afterwards, advocating for the urgent filling of the position. Evidence was provided to the DMS clearly demonstrating the excessive on-call demands on the Team. The DMS undertook to review the situation and provided some insights into how the situation may have come about.

Management advised that the filling of the position must remain “cost neutral”, however ASMOF successfully argued that the substantial cost of the current on-call arrangements override any further costs and could actually be more cost effective.

Although the process was delayed due to multiple staffing changes within Liverpool hospital, after continuing to push the issue we have finally had a win. The DMS of Liverpool Hospital has confirmed to ASMOF that filling of the position has been approved and is now with Medical Administration to progress recruitment.

We look forward to the position being filled so that the team can get some rest. We will keep following up to make sure it gets filled.