Staff shortages have forced one of England’s largest NHS trusts to start chemotherapy to some of its cancer patients.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust is now limiting access to treatment to patients with terminal cancer and those receiving treatment with the aim of slowing the disease and buying them extra weeks or months of life.
The trust said only a few patients have been affected by the shortage, which it said was due to long-term illness and incomplete vacancies.
All affected patients have been contacted personally by the owners to explain the situation which also affects services at the neighboring Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust.
A city doctor has spoken of a widespread “broken system” in the NHS.
Dr Lucy Gosage, an oncologist at the Trust, wrote in a blog post: “Right now, for many of us, the ability we are able to care for our cancer patients is worse than at any point since the Covid-19 pandemic. -19 was hit for the first time. UK.”
He said hospitals had been told to prioritize cancer patients into six categories, those who were able to be treated and cured, those who were terminal and were likely to see only modest benefit from chemotherapy.
“This priority system has been used intermittently throughout the country during the pandemic, but where I work, although the ability to deliver chemotherapy has been exceptionally tight at times, we have never had to use it. till now. Right now we do not have the staff capacity to deliver chemotherapy to all our patients and hence, the priority list has come into force for the first time.
“This means that, at present, we are unable to offer chemotherapy that aims to prolong life or reduce symptoms for many people with advanced cancer. We expect this to be very temporary, but it may be in its final form.” There is a sign of a system on the feet.”
She said: “As oncologists, we’re not used to apologizing for a broken system. And that, right now, we’re doing everyday. It’s not okay. Our patients aren’t well. We’re not well.”
“The reality is, right now, we are not offering the First World Cancer Service and we need to talk about it.”
The staffing shortfall comes after the Trust was criticized earlier this month by the Care Quality Commission for widespread bullying and ineffective board leadership. The trust is also facing an investigation into poor maternity care following an investigation by The Granthshala.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds applying for magnet position from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The status of the magnet is believed to reflect world-class nursing care and a superior culture.
Following its recent inspection, the CQC issued a warning notice asking the Trust to take steps to improve its governance, culture and leadership.
Medical Director Keith Garling said: “Our clinical team is prioritizing care based on potential clinical benefit. We are deeply sorry for the concern and distressed by this.
“We are supporting staff and actively recruiting positions and will ensure that any service limitations are in place for the shortest possible duration.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /