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Cardiologist shortage prompts NHS trust to ask GPs to cut referrals

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1304 (Published 03 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1304
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

A prestigious teaching hospital has asked GPs in neighbouring clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to send their cardiology patients elsewhere, as a severe shortage of consultants means that it cannot guarantee the safety of its services.

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has only just over half the consultant cardiology workforce it needs. Just 3.5 whole time equivalent (WTE) cardiology consultants are in post at the hospital, and the trust said that its attempt to recruit a further three WTE doctors had been unsuccessful and that it has been unable to find locums to cover the posts temporarily.

Evelyn Barker, chief operating officer at Cambridge University Hospitals, and Tracy Dowling, chief operating officer at the local Cambridgeshire …

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