The use of UK-connected doctors reached its highest level in 2022 when compared to the previous four years, new figures have revealed.
The total number of registered doctors has increased since 2018, but the Bailiwick has increasingly relied on external freelancers to fill extensive vacancies, as it is for other health services and within education.
“UK-connected practitioners” are employed across the States’ Health & Social Care department, the Medical Specialist Group, general practitioners, private providers, Guernsey Prison services, and Alderney and Sark services.
At the end of 2022, there were 285 doctors on the Bailiwick Register. Of these 158 were “local practitioners” and 127 were “UK-connected practitioners”, the latest Responsible Officer report showed.
Increases in UK-connected staff, up 34 on 2021, was said to be due to continued reliance on agency staff to provide services across the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, MSG, GPs, and those who “privately prescribe medical cannabis”.
It represents an increase of 53 on 2018 figures, which stood at 74. The biggest jump was seen within the MSG, with 30 agency staff used compared to four in 2018 – more than doubling the numbers used in 2021.
The number of “local practitioners” has hovered around 150 for the previous five years, but also reached its highest level in 2022 – an increase of 8 compared to 2018.
UK-connected doctors outstripped local doctors working at the hospital every year over the five-year period, but local practitioners still represented the bulk of those working at the MSG and GPs.
Pictured: A breakdown of Bailiwick-registered doctors for 2022.
Express revealed in April that 375 healthcare staff are being housed in a combination of States properties and visitor accommodation, including hotels, at a cost of £3.3m.
54 new homes in La Charroterie have been ringfenced for healthcare staff to ease pressures in those key workers finding suitable accommodation, hopefully improving recruitment and retention.
The States has also extended rent allowances for off-island States employees who are entitled to financial help from two to four years. It was claimed that the public shouldn’t incur an additional cost for this as turnover would be reduced.
Doctors practicing within the Bailiwick are generally required to submit themselves for appraisals every five years.
In 2022, following these appraisals, 16 doctors were recommended for revalidation to the General Medical Council (GMC).
Four doctors had their revalidation deferred due to “lack of evidence” for a positive recommendation. Action plans to remedy those emulations were enacted and resulted in three doctors being successfully revalidated.
The other was again deferred, and they will come up for revalidation this year.
No doctors received sanctions or warnings from the GMC in 2022.
No new complaints were received last year regarding the function of the Responsible Officer, and no new conflicts of interest were reported either.
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