Changes to staff rota to improve outpatient clinic availability

The Health and Social Care Portfolio received feedback regarding the Health services medical provision in 2021/22.  Highlighted was the absence of availability of clinical appointments and the continuity of doctors. 

Health Services has been unable to recruit and retain sufficient medical staff to be able to cover Hospital and emergency care needs for the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has meant a consistent and regular staff rota could not be drawn up, leaving gaps in clinics and other Hospital duties.   

With the Island and the rest of the world beginning to return to normal after the pandemic, Health services has recently acquired a full complement of medical staff, and in particular doctors.  A new rota has now therefore been designed which is anticipated to address the previous issues around staffing for clinics and Hospital duties.

The new rota is a rolling one, is based on five GPs being on staff and will repeat on a five week cycle. This will mean each doctor will have a weekly shift within the Hospital wards and Emergency Department. In doing so this will provide continuity between doctors and patients, providing a further positive impact on the continuity of care patients can expect to receive.  

The rota also allows an increased number of outpatient clinic appointments. The recent changes to the days in which outpatient clinics are held at Longwood and Levelwood clinics means additional clinics can now be accommodated in these two districts each month, should there be an increased demand for this.

Persons who use the Longwood or Levelwood clinics should also note that due to the new rota running on a recurring five week pattern, clinics that fall at the beginning and end of the rota may take place two weeks in a row. Unfortunately, for these changes to take place and provide the increase in services, it was not possible to keep the Longwood and Levelwood clinics scheduled on the same days as they had been for years prior.

The Health Services envisage that the benefits of more regular clinics and appointments available should outweigh any inconvenience that may initially be caused by changes to clinic days in Longwood and Levelwood.

Members of the public are advised that appointments for outpatient clinics can be booked through the Health Services medical records office, via telephone number 22321. 


4 November 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470