NHS hospital criticised for plans to treat pets
30 October 2006 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
Plans for an NHS hospital to use its radiotherapy facilities to treat domestic pets suffering from cancer in order to earn money to pay off some of its debts has attracted criticism from a number of sources.
It has been suggested that The Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk could earn up to ?50,000 from opening its facilities up for use by cats and dogs at times when it is not being used, in an attempt to deal with its debts of 24 million pounds.
Health union Unison has criticised the proposal, suggesting the facilities should be used to treat more people or speed up the treatment of existing patients.
Katherine Murphy, spokeswoman of the Patients Association, questioned if such measures were necessary for the hospital to cope with its debt.
"I hope this idea never gets off the ground. I think it is a disaster waiting to happen," she said.
"Surely there are other ways of identifying areas where costs could be reduced?" She added.
Recently The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust was awarded a rating of "weak" for its use of resources and "fair" for its quality of services in the first Annual Health Check, used to assess NHS organisations.
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