The UK ranked 24th out of the 27 European nations, only beating Slovenia, Romania and Poland according to the data, published by the EU Commission as part of its Eurostat regional yearbook 2013. By comparison there were more than six doctors per 1,000 people in Greece, which tops the list, nearly five in Austria and just under four in Italy. The figures, showing the number of physicians practising in all EU countries during 2010, come after a string of events which critics say show the NHS faces a staffing crisis. Related Articles English education system among most class-ridden in developed world 29 Jan 2014 Last summer MPs on the Health Select Committee warned that only one in five casualty wards in England had enough consultants on duty, leading it to conclude that A&E departments are in crisis. Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS said: “Enough is enough, there can be no more cuts to budget or staffing. “There is so much pressure on NHS staff because of the shortage and the huge number of patients they treat. It’s extremely worrying, particularly as we are facing the toughest winter in years. Dr Paul Flynn, Chair of the British Medical Association Consultants Committee, said: Policy makers need to get a grip on NHS workforce planning. Projected imbalances between different specialties will have serious implications for patient care and we are already seeing the effect of staff shortages in key areas such as emergency care. In addition, despite the pledge to protect front-line services, many employers in the NHS are freezing recruitment in response to financial pressures. Dr Flynn said that staffing levels must be aligned to meet the changing demands of patients and address issues such as workload pressures and work-life balance that might be deterring medical graduates. Doctors in the NHS face increasingly challenging, high pressured and stressful work environments, often with limited resources and gruelling workloads. Only by making working practices and environments safe and sustainable will the NHS be able attract and retain the required number and mix of doctors, he said. According to OECD data, the number of doctors per head of population in the UK has been increasing from just 1.9 per 1,000 in 2000, when European average stood at 2.9. The UK has seen more rapid growth than others, narrowing the gap against the European average, which had grown to 3.4 per 1,000 in 2010. The OECD says the number of doctors in the UK increased again in 2011, to 2.8 per 1,000. Analysis by Plaid Cymru last year showed Wales had the fewest doctors per 1,000 at 2.5, while England and Northern Ireland had 2.7 per 1,000.
Groundbreaking doctor to retire from post in Watford General Hospital
Dr Muftah Eltumi (PhD FRCP FRCPCH) has more than 30 years experience in paediatric medicine and has held many notable clinical positions and published numerous original articles. In 1992, Dr Eltumi was appointed as a lecturer and senior registrar at Charring Cross and Westminster Medical School where, with colleagues, he established the Paediatric Gastroenterology Unit based at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. During this post, he published many valuable, groundbreaking research papers, including the use of endoscopic biopsies in children instead of conventional blind capsule biopsy established in the sixties. In 1997, Dr Eltumi moved to Watford General Hospital where he established a state of the art, dedicated Children Gastrointestinal and Endoscopy unit. This is where he teamed up with Deena Niren, whose daughter Gemma was treated by him at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Gemma was first diagnosed with bowel disease at the age of 12. Dr Eltumi wanted to provide the best equipment he could for the local children and he and Deena set out to provide this for them. Consequently Watford was one of the first in the country to have a wireless capsule endoscopy system which allows a small pellet-sized camera, swallowed by the child, to take up to eight hours of video recordings of the entire digestive system, mainly looking at the small bowel which cannot be seen by endoscopy. Images are transmitted to a video recorder the child carries around the waist. Since its formation in 2002 Herts Childrens Crohns & Colitis Trust (HCCCST) has raised more than 150,000 for Watford Paediatric Gastroenterology Department. The charity has purchased groundbreaking equipment to improve the lives of local children with bowel disease such as crohns and colitis. Raising money for bowel disease was not easy and the charity also worked hard at raising peoples awareness. Deena said that Watford was very lucky to have a specialist in this field as early diagnosis is essential. There is too much suffering in adults and children alike as symptoms can be confused with irritable bowel and, especially with children, deteriation can be very quick. Dr Eltumi is father of four and lives with his wife Rukia in Gerrards Cross. In his spare time he likes to play golf and spend time with his family.