LETTER: Loss of services might cascade

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The blackest day in the NHS’s history has occurred on the 11th of February Jeremy Hunt has imposed a contract that is unsafe for junior doctors and unsafe for the patients they treat.

Hospitals and medical schools are now awash with doctors and medical students talking about alternative careers or which country to emigrate to rather than which British specialty to work in. This will be catastrophic for GP practices and hospitals up and down the country.

Before the Imposition was declared the fallout from this contract was already being felt with 48% of foundation year 2 doctors, refusing to continue training in the NHS that is around 3500 doctors fewer working in the NHS come august.

This statement is also perfectly timed to come out just before Registrar applications opens this contract is a massive disincentive to continue training in the UK.

A hospital with too few doctors in important posts will no longer be safe, if a hospital cannot guarantee safety in a particular department, it will have to close that service otherwise patients will be at risk of being harmed from poor quality treatment. The loss of certain services can cause a cascade of other interlinking departments closing a hospital.

If the fall out of this whole junior doctor contract debacle is that thousands of doctors are put off from working in England a complete redistribution of those doctors left will occur. Eastbourne DGH with two newer larger commutable hospitals either side must unfortunately be one of the most likely to face service cuts in this area of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It may be all those that voted Caroline Ansell into parliament have given Jeremy Hunt his mandate, have in their vote condemned their local hospital to closure.

Dr Rowan Gossedge

Lincoln Close

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