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NHS surgery targets a risk to patients, says poll

Published on 18/06/2010
Targets and budget pressures in the NHS are putting patients' lives at risk, a poll of surgeons has suggested.

A survey carried out by the University of Bournemouth found that 40 per cent of the 549 general surgeons questioned said they had been involved in cases where a patient was nearly harmed over a period of just two weeks.

Furthermore, almost one in five (19 per cent) admitted to having been present when actual harm was done to the patient.

One of the key reasons for this lapse in patient safety cited by the surgeons was management pressure to meet operating targets.

The study, published in the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons, quoted one surgeon as saying: "Don't be seduced by management into making do, thinking you are being heroic; you're not, you are being dangerous."

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for the Patients Association said: "This study gives yet more weight to the idea that while the NHS may have been meeting its targets over the past few years, that doesn't mean those targets are always a benefit for patients."

The think tank Reform this week called for billions of pounds of cuts in NHS spending to help balance the UK Budget deficit.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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