Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Surgeons resign over cuts

THE ROYAL College of Surgeons is investigating the resignation of five surgeons at the Royal London Hospital in Tower Hamlets and one surgeon from Bart’s Hospital over cuts in resources which, they say, endanger patients’ safety.
 A lack of plastic surgeons, anaesthetists, beds and equipment meant patients with non-life threatening injuries routinely had operations cancelled.
 One whistleblower said that patients were left with open wounds for six days while waiting for a slot. When they were finally operated on, bones often healed badly or infection set in leading to long-term complications, the source added.
 The resignations, which all happened in recent months, mean almost half the hospital's 12 orthopaedic surgeons have now handed in their notice.
 In his resignation email to colleagues orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Goodier, said: “I can no longer stand idly by when patients are physically harmed by the care they receive.
 "The supplies situation is dangerous. We are regularly out of kit, out of nurses, and always out of beds.
"We have become so used to this situation it is no longer seen as a crisis, it is the norm.
 "I did an operation last week on a fracture that kept getting bumped by more urgent cases.
 "It was three weeks down the line and healed in a bad position. There was nothing I could do for him.
 "I look patients in the eye and tell them they might sit around for five or even six days of starving for an operation that might get cancelled at the last minute."
 He concluded: "I have been complicit in a poor standard of trauma care and am guilty of negligence by association.
 "I can no longer stand idly by when patients are at best having their human rights breached, and at worst physically harmed by the care they receive."

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