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Tight rotas and poor infrastructure cited by model 3 consultants

By David Lynch - 24th Nov 2022


Tight rotas, poor communication, and inadequate training facilities, were among the challenges citied by consultants in model 3 hospitals during site visits this year by the HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP) unit.

In June, the Medical Independent reported on the model 3 hospital network project, which is co-sponsored by NDTP and the RCSI and aims to provide methods to improve consultant recruitment to such sites. 

Dr Consilia Walsh, Clinical Lead, NDTP, delivered an update on the project at a conference on 11 November, which marked the launch of the NDTP Strategic Plan 2022-2027.

During the site visits, model 3 hospital consultants raised the issues of tight rotas as well as communication problems.

“Since the disbandment of the medical boards and with the current governance structures, there isn’t, in many hospitals, a forum for consultants to meet,” according to Dr Walsh. She said some consultants reported issues with communication “between senior hospital management teams and the consultants on the ground”.

She added that some consultants “feel disconnected and disenfranchised from decisions” on service development.

Infrastructure deficits were also raised, with a reliance on cabins, insufficient office space, and “no reliable access to theatre” for elective work.

Consultants said the presence of trainees and medical students was very important to the model 3 hospitals and a “boost to morale”. However, some hospitals did not have any facilities for training, while facilities in other sites were inadequate.

Dr Walsh said the model 3 hospital network project report and recommendations should be completed towards the end of the year. The NDTP will then fund a project manager to progress implementation of the recommendations.

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