A safety alert has been issued after watchdogs uncovered more than 400 incidents in which cylinder controls were wrongly operated – including 24 cases where patients came to “moderate or severe harm”.

The blunders saw six patients die, while five suffered cardiac arrest or stopped breathing and five were left unconscious.

Incidents involved newborns, patients on resuscitation trolleys and those on cardiac units

Incidents involved newborns, patients on resuscitation trolleys and those on cardiac units, a safety alert discloses. Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch has opened an urgent investigation into the errors, some of which date back three years.

Why is the NHS under so much pressure? (See HERE)

  • An ageing population. There are one million more people over the age of 65 than five years ago. This has caused a surge in demand for medical care
  • Cuts to budgets for social care. While the NHS budget has been protected, social services for home helps and other care have fallen by 11 per cent in five years. This has caused record levels of “bedblocking”; people with no medical need to be in hospital are stuck there because they can’t be supported at home
  • Staff shortages. While hospital doctor and nurse numbers have risen over the last decade, they have not kept pace with the rise in demand. Meanwhile, 2016 saw record numbers of GP practices close, displacing patients on to A&E departments as they seek medical advice
  • Lifestyle factors. Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, a poor diet with not enough fruit and vegetables and not doing enough exercise are all major reasons for becoming unwell and needing to rely on our health services. Growing numbers of overweight children show this problem is currently set to continue (The Telegraph, January, 10 20018).


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