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Theatre staff are retraining; REPORT: Birmingham Children's Hospital under fire.


BIRMINGHAM Children's Hospital theatre staff are being retrained and made to watch operations at other hospitals in the wake of a damning report into alleged failings, health bosses revealed today.

The Healthcare Commission is currently carrying out a formal inquiry into complaints of mismanagement and unnecessary delays affecting liver and kidney transplant, brain surgery, face deformity, vascular and interventional radiology at the Hospital.

Birmingham's Health Scrutiny Committee was told that although retraining and more staff had led to improvements there was now a "loss of trust" between Children's Hospital staff and Queen Elizabeth Hospital surgeons, who sparked the inquiry.

Denise McLellan, director of commissioning for Heart of Birmingham Primary Care Trust(PCT), investigated internally concerns raised by visiting transplant surgeons from Edgbaston's QE Hospital.

She said results of the Commission inquiry would be out next month over surgeons claims of a severe lack of beds putting transplant patients lives at risk because of delays, theatre staff unable to recognise surgical equipment, incidents not being reported and lack of confidence in managers.

Ms McLellan said Children's Hospital theatre workers had since been made to observe operations at the QE plus theatre trays had been installed with a revised content sheet and card index.

"There were no issues identified that posed an immediate significant risk to patients but some aspects needed tidying up," said Ms McLellan.

Paul O'Connor, chief executive of the Children's Hospital, has claimed many of the complaints that surfaced were "unfounded rumours".

He said the trust was working closely with the Healthcare Commission to put right any issues and regain confidence in the hospital.

The hospital sees a third of a million patients a year.


Birmingham Children's Hospital and chief executive Paul O'Connor.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 22, 2009
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