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Senior house officer withdrawals from hospital posts: a questionnaire survey
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  1. D S Vickery1,
  2. G G Bodiwala2
  1. 1Department of Accident and emergency Medicine, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK
  2. 2Accident and Emergency Department, Leicestershire Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr D Vickery, Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Gloucester GL1 3NN, UK;
 davidvickery{at}yahoo.com

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the nature and number of unexpected withdrawal by senior house officers (SHOs) after acceptance of a hospital post at interview, and to investigate the reasons and possible solutions.

Design: Postal questionnaire based study.

Subjects: Medical staffing departments, accident and emergency (A&E) consultants, and withdrawing SHOs in England.

Main outcome measures: Unexpected withdrawals by hospital specialty, three year trend in A&E departments, notice and reasons given, and action taken.

Results: 39% of medical staffing departments reported unexpected withdrawals in a broad spectrum of specialties for February 1998. In the specialty of A&E medicine this occurred in 34% of departments. Overall 72% of A&E departments had experienced this problem over a three year period, and the trend is increasing. The majority of A&E consultants (70%) took no action, and there was a lack of consensus among all respondents on the appropriate course of action to prevent this escalating problem.

Conclusions: Unexpected SHO withdrawal is a substantial issue in hospital medicine and has been increasing in A&E medicine. Measures to prevent this national problem are urgently needed.

  • medical staffing
  • senior house officer

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Footnotes

  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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