19 October, 2006

The NHS kills again.

Have an urge to kill somebody but afraid of being locked up? Then join the NHS, and release your homicidal tendencies without fear of being sacked.

Lisa Norris, a 16 year old cancer patient in Scotland, has died of a radiation overdose incurred through the incompetence of those treating her at the at the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow. She was administered not just one overdose but seventeen. The BBC reports that:

Several months after the overdose was given, the Beatson was found to have given a series of other patients radiation overdoses.
Health officials said there had been 46 incidents over the past 20 years where the treatment carried out was different from what had been planned - including 14 cases where patients were given overdoses.
The BBC continues that, Dr Michael Williams (vice president and dean of the Faculty of Clinical Oncology, and candidate Professor of Manslaughter) said:
We are working with patients and other health care professions to identify ways in which processes can be improved to minimise errors.
We are also seeking to improve checking procedures so that any mistakes can be detected earlier in a course of treatment.
Here is a procedure for you to consider: sack whichever incompetents are responsible. It won't bring young Lisa Norris back but it might prevent the serial bunglers responsible from killing anybody else. It is not an isolated incident. Systematic mistakes are endemic in the NHS.


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