St George ICU

05-Jul-2019

 

The College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM) advised that it withdrew the accreditation of St George ICU to Train Intensivists on 17 th June 2019 due to certain disagreements between senior medical staff at the St George ICU.

The Background: SESLHD commissioned a formal and independent investigation consistent with NSW Health Policies and Procedures following a number of Staff Specialists employed in the St George ICU making formal complaints about two other Staff Specialists. These investigations are nearing conclusion.

SESLHD initiated several measures to ensure that the complainants were protected during the investigation, and, more importantly, that Trainees were quarantined from the tensions between the Senior Medical Officers.

ASMOF had corresponded with CICM requesting that St George ICU be provisionally re-accredited to allow the investigation commenced to address the complainants’ concerns to be completed and thereby allow a full and proper assessment of the situation. The College has responded indicating that this is solely a matter between the College and St George Hospital.

The Current Situation:

ASMOF Staff met with St George ICU Trainees on Thursday 27th June who indicated that they are distressed regarding the current situation for several reasons:

  • The College appeared not to have taken notice of their assessment of the situation; i.e. they did not feel their views that they were insulated from the alleged tension between certain members of the Senior Medical Workforce were considered;
  • The Trainees considered that they well supported by the interim arrangements;
  • The Trainees considered that the de-accreditation was disproportionate to the alleged problem;
  • De accreditation has caused significant distress & concern to Trainees, particularly those who had two year contracts who must now either commence preparing for the imminent recruitment cycle (commencing in about three weeks) while preparing for exams or resign themselves to unaccredited terms.
  • There is also dislocation to Emergency and Anaesthetic Trainees who rotate through the ICU
  • It was noted that the College only did one “welfare check” when it became aware of the alleged problem, & that was in November 2018.
  • The College did not directly advise the Trainees of the decision which has such a profound effect on them. About a week after the decision to de-accredit St George ICU Trainees received an anodyne email from an administration officer from the College “reaching out” to the Trainees but offering no recognition of the significant distress, or practical support for them.

ASMOF has met with St George Senior Management who is supportive of the Trainees and has written to CICM to request that the College review its position.

ASMOF has made further representations to CICM in support of Trainees employed in St George ICU to seek at least provisional accreditation to ensure some certainty for our members and in support of our members.

ASMOF has also made direct representations to the Ministry of Health regarding this matter, however no formal response has been received from the Ministry at the time of writing.

The College has now advised ASMOF that representations to them will be considered by their Accreditation Committee.