Hospitals struggling to afford new equipment after NHS budget cuts

Full story in The Guardian, 22 May 2018

Hospitals can no longer afford the most modern scanners and surgical equipment to treat patients who have cancer and other diseases because of multibillion-pound cuts to the NHS’s capital budget, research reveals.

Staff are having to continue using vital diagnostic and treatment technology beyond its natural life because there are insufficient funds to replace it.

For example, radiographers are using out-of-date scanners that produce images so unclear they impede correct diagnosis. In one case, 200 patients had to be rescanned because the images of their lumps, tumours and broken bones were of such poor quality.

Ambulances are breaking down because they have been kept in service for too long, and hospitals are having to continue using archaic IT systems in the wake of repeated government raids on NHS capital funding, the researchers heard. One trust had to scrap plans to bring in electronic scheduling of operations because it could not afford the technology.