Patient sent home because hospital ran out of paper
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.’