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BBC Scotland's James Cook
"At least five hospitals don't have high dependency beds and two others are full up"
 real 28k

Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 17:33 GMT
Patients at risk claim

Surgery
The report highlights "unacceptable" standards of care


Poor after-surgery care could put patients in Scottish hospitals at risk, says an Edinburgh-based consultant.

The survey, part of the Scottish Audit of Surgical Mortality, says too many high-risk operations are being carried out without the back-up of fully equipped high dependency unit beds.

Hospitals in need
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
Law Hospital, Carluke
Southern General Hospital, Glasgow
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Western Infirmary, Glasgow
Steve Nixon, who is the report's author and consultant surgeon at Edinburgh's Western General, says more specialist beds are needed at seven hospitals where they would save lives.

Mr Nixon is challenging the hospitals and the Scottish Executive to say what their plans are to improve the situation.

It is believed that in a one year period around 30 people died following "unacceptable" standards of surgical care on NHS wards in Scotland and poor treatment made a "significant contribution" to a further 230 deaths.

The hospitals in need of the beds are Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Law Hospital in Carluke, Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.

Susan Deacon Susan Deacon: Announced new spending
Since 1996 the number of patients who had failed to receive the necessary post-operative care in intensive care or high-dependency beds has more than trebled.

Only last week Scottish Health Minister Susan Deacon announced plans to hand over an extra 14m to the NHS to help pay for intensive care and high dependency beds.

During the winter the government came under fire for not having enough beds to cope with the flu outbreak.

But Ms Deacon insisted the country had 10% more intensive care beds than in 1997 but accepted that there was a need to replace medical equipment which "is past its useful life".

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
14m for Scottish NHS
15 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Budget crisis hits heart unit plan
14 Jun 99 |  Health
'Urgent' heart inquiry demand
14 Feb 00 |  Health
Government 'spins NHS funding pledges'

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