Magazine article Public Finance

NHS 'Left to Mop Up ISTCs' Mistakes'

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS 'Left to Mop Up ISTCs' Mistakes'

Article excerpt

The introduction of fast-track independent sector treatment centres has created a 'two-level health service' in which the National Health Service has to fix the mistakes of inexperienced and poorly supervised private doctors, a leading surgeon has claimed.

Writing in the journal of the British Medical Association, Professor Angus Wallace said that the new ISTCs are staffed by mainly foreign surgeons whose training and clinical practice are unsuited to the centres' working arrangements.

Although these clinicians have qualified in their home countries, many of them have only junior status and are used to being closely supervised by a senior consultant. In the ISTCs, he claimed, junior surgeons are asked to work alone, leading to mistakes that end up in NHS hospitals.

'The number of [ISTC] patients we [in the NHS] are seeing with problems resulting from poor surgery - incorrectly inserted prostheses, technical errors and infected joint replacements - is too great,' said Wallace. …

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