Hobart hospital loses psych training
The Royal Hobart Hospital has Tasmania's largest public hospital has been stripped of its accreditation for psychiatry care training.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, which controls accreditation, said the hospital's accreditation had been suspended pending a visit from the college, but would not comment further.
“We are now in a devastating situation where because of the cuts to acute mental health beds, the state's tertiary hospital is not accredited for psychiatry training,” Opposition Leader Rebecca White said in parliament.
“Three registrars who are working on the acute mental health ward in the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) will no longer be able to continue working in those positions.
“Staff will be lost from the hospital at a time it's already under enormous pressure.
“This places the very future of psychiatric training in Tasmania at risk.”
Greens spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff said; “It's not easy to just employ two to three more psychiatrists, there's already a shortage overall”.
“The Minister needs to reveal the plan for filling those positions,” she said.
“The damage to the RHH reputation is far less important than the issues for mental health patients.”
Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the Government is “committed to the training program”.
“The instruction I've provided to Tasmania Health Service (THS) is to work with the college to fix this and that will involve employing additional staff and putting our best foot forward,” Mr Ferguson said.
“I have been further advised that arrangements have been made to bring in medical officers from the community mental health service to provide services to the inpatient wards and patients, while the registrars will be working with the community mental health team with the agreement of the college.”
The hospital’s chief operations officer Nicola Dymond said it was recruiting more staff.
“There is a recognised national shortage of qualified psychiatric staff, but we will do all we can to try and gain these staff and help improve existing workloads,” she said.
“The THS yesterday wrote to the college to provide this assurance that advertising would immediately commence for recruitment of additional staff and committed to work with the college to address their concerns.”