Pa­tient sent home be­cause hos­pi­tal ran out of pa­per

The Oban Times - - Front Page - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

A MED­I­CAL pro­ce­dure on a pa­tient who was prepped and ready for treat­ment was can­celled be­cause there was ‘no pa­per in the printer’.

Two con­sul­tants and nurs­ing staff had to stop the pro­ce­dure and send a pa­tient home be­cause of lack of equip­ment in Lorn and Is­lands Hos­pi­tal.

Iain MacIntyre, for­mer Ro­tary pres­i­dent and busi­ness­man, said it is now time to think about pri­vati­sa­tion of the NHS be­cause the ‘ex­cel­lent staff’ in Oban can no longer do their jobs.

Mr MacIntyre, from Oban, who lives with a heart con­di­tion, said: ‘Last week I at­tended Lorn and Is­lands Hos­pi­tal for Ex­er­cise Tol­er­ance tests. Pre­vi­ously I had a heart mon­i­tor fit­ted to my chest and was in­formed at the time they were un­able to give out spare stick- on pads for the sen­sors that are at­tached to my chest, as they are not al­lowed to carry suf­fi­cient stock. Thus threat­en­ing the whole ex­er­cise.

‘On the day of my pro­ce­dure, I had two doc­tors, an ob­server and nurse in at­ten­dance.

‘My chest was shaved, pads were fit­ted, my blood pres­sure was read and the printer was started. It was at that late stage, for all in at­ten­dance to hear, the hi-tech printer tell us it was ‘out of pa­per’.

‘A search of the room was un­der­taken fol­lowed by another look through­out the build­ing but to no avail. There was no pa­per. My ap­point­ment was can­celled and the fol­low­ing ap­point­ments that had al­ready been made. All this dis­rup­tion all for the cost of a ream of pa­per or two cost­ing only a few pounds.

‘How can such highly qual­i­fied ded­i­cated peo­ple work in such con­di­tions? Could a com­mer­cial con­cern af­ford such is­sues? How much do these type of is­sues con­trib­ute to the NHS’s wait­ing list?’

Other read­ers have told of con­cerns at the lack of equip­ment for pro­ce­dures at the hos­pi­tal be­cause staff have been told ‘not to over­stock’.

One reader said they were told by a staff mem­ber they were be­ing sent to Pais­ley for treat­ment be­cause there was no ‘bud­get line’ in Oban for such treat­ments which could have been easily per­formed by staff in the hos­pi­tal.

NHS High­land man­ager Caro­line Hen­der­son said: ‘I would like to apol­o­gise to the pa­tients for their can­celled pro­ce­dure and wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to meet with them and dis­cuss any con­cerns they may have.

‘The incident was due to an ad­min­is­tra­tive er­ror in or­der­ing pa­per, and not a re­sult of NHS High­land’s fi­nances. I have con­ducted an in­ter­nal in­quiry and have put steps in place to en­sure an incident like this doesn’t hap­pen again.’

Mrs Hen­der­son added: ‘ As NHS High­land chair­man David Al­ston has un­der­lined, there is a greater need than ever to look at how health and so­cial care ser­vices are pro­vided. It is vi­tal we ad­dress the bal­ance of care in Oban and in­deed across Ar­gyll and Bute, sup­port­ing peo­ple to be looked af­ter in their own homes and com­mu­ni­ties.’

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