Doctor fears recipe for disaster due to doctor ‘shortage’ at Louth County Hospital

Louth County Hospital
Louth County Hospital

A local doctor has spoken of his fears for a ‘recipe for disaster’ at Louth County Hospital after claiming there were ‘no doctors available’ to deal with a baby.

‘Doctor A’, who does not wish to be identified, told the Leader that the baby had been taken to the hospital on Sunday, December 18.

However, he said that there had been no doctors available at the time.

He claimed that in the absence of any available doctors, the baby’s condition (which has not been revealed) was diagnosed by a nurse instead.

He said that he had to re-assess the child the following day.

Although there were no serious repercussions, Doctor A told the Leader that the situation could have been prevented – and condemned what he called the ‘scandal’ of insufficient NHS doctor provision.

He added that with tens of thousands of people in an NHS ‘catchment area’ of 
hundreds of square miles, the situation was a ‘recipe for disaster’.

The NHS has denied the allegations and claimed that a doctor was on duty, or available on-site, at all times on the day in question.

Craig Mclean, deputy director of operations at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “Urgent care services at County Hospital, Louth, provide a doctor and advanced nurse practitioners.

“The on-site Out Of Hours service provides advanced nurse practitioners overnight and an on-site doctor who can be called upon at all times if required.

“On Sunday, December 18, the Urgent Care Centre provided a doctor and advanced nurse practitioner service up to 6pm.

“The on-site Out Of Hours service provided advanced nurse practitioners throughout the evening and overnight plus a doctor until 6pm - with access to the doctor, who is available on-site, throughout the evening and overnight if required.

“County Hospital, Louth, does not provide a paediatric service.”

Mr Mclean added: “Although we are unable to comment on individual cases, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns individuals have about the care they have received in order to support our commitment to continued service improvements.”