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'CHAOS' IN ORKNEY HOSPITAL.

Byline: LORRAINE SHEARER

ANOTHER top surgeon has criticised health chiefs for making a series of cashsaving cuts which have thrown his hospital into "chaos."

Dr Michael Dohrn, the consultant surgeon at Balfour Hospital on Orkney, delivered a savage attack in a letter to Orkney Health Board.

Dr Dohrn criticised changes to staffing levels, ward layout and general operating practices which, he claims, are having a "devastating" effect.

Mr Dohrn wrote: "The savings and reductions on the clinical side have been overdone, the screw has been tightened too much and the process needs to be reversed - urgently!

"You will remember nursing staff meetings, which were mostly about ward reconfiguration in order to save money.

"The wards have been changed around and so have the nurses staffing them. They are often unfamiliar with their new workplace.

"And the equipment they could expect to be in place, is not there.

"The planning of the transition phase was inadequate and the whole move rushed. The new facilities have clearly not been staffed.

"We have, both during the festive period and thereafter, had a number of critically ill patients admitted, whose care was sub-optimal, to word it carefully."

Dr Dohrn added: "The unfortunate overall impression is that a lot has been done to save money on the clinical side, in particularly in Acute Care, very much to the detriment of the quality of care and the ability to cope with statistical fluctuation and extra pressures.

"No visible reduction in the adminstaffing seems to have accompanied this. Savings and reductions on the clinical side have been overdone" The surgeon received a message of support from staff in an anonymous letter, who wrote "they are behind Dr Dohrn 1,000 per cent".

But NHS Orkney's new chief executive, Cathie Cowan, said: "I will inquire into these allegations and if there is any validity I'll try to resolve the issues."

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2010
Words:316
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