Annals of Government Medicine

Doctors at the South London Healthcare Trust say that cash flow issues have resulted in vital equipment being unavailable, compromising patient safety:

A cash crisis in the NHS has left patients lying on the operating table before doctors realised vital equipment had not been ordered, according to a leaked report.
Women in labour have been forced to wait while epidural equipment was borrowed from other hospitals, while other patients have been denied chest drains and radiology supplies, according to doctors at South London Healthcare Trust. Minutes of a meeting between medical staff and the trust’s chief executive say “cash flow” problems at the trust which has a £50 million deficit, mean vital equipment is regularly not ordered.
A separate letter sent to managers of the trust, one of the largest in the country, says consultants have been misled into carrying out operations when it was not safe to go ahead because of bed shortages. …
[The doctors’ report] describes “significant risks” to patient safety because of shortages of beds, and “chaotic” failures dealing with such crises at the trust, which also runs Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, in Kent, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, London, and NHS units in Orpington and Beckenham, in Kent. Patients affected include a woman who had undergone major cancer surgery who could not be found a bed.

Why anyone would want to put his family’s health care in the government’s hands is beyond me.

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