Number of consultants in NHS Lothian at record high

 RECORD number of consultants are now being employed in the NHS in Lothian, according to a paper to be presented at NHS Lothian's board meeting tomorrow. (Wed 24th Jan)

Forty-seven consultants were appointed by NHS Lothian in 2006, delivering high quality patient care, the board will be told.

This takes the total number of consultants employed by NHS Lothian to 624, compared to 445 in 1995.

Bob Anderson, interim chairman of NHS Lothian, said:

"NHS Lothian ensures it puts as much of its funding as possible into front line clinical care and minimises administration costs. With more consultants in place, our patients benefit from being seen and treated more quickly, and the numbers of people on our waiting lists have been dropping as a result."

Increased staffing and other changes have increased the amount of time spent by consultants on direct patient care, the board will be told.

Dr Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said:

"The number of hours spend on clinical work has risen by 1.2 hours a week and the number of hours spent on administration has decreased by 1.8 hours a week."

The board will also be told of the results of a recent national job satisfaction survey for consultants, who have benefited from a recent national settlement on pay and conditions.

Dr Swainson added:

"The survey demonstrates substantial improvements in job satisfaction and workload attitude of consultants in NHS Scotland. Evidence from previous research suggests that these improvements in job satisfaction and attitude should translate into longer-term improvements in clinical quality, productivity and recruitment and retention of doctors."